I’m a bad person… possibly evil. I’m coming to terms with that. Yesterday was a silly day for me. It was silly because I’m silly. Let me tell you why.
I had a thought as I was cruising the blogosphere yesterday. I wondered what happened to my old crit partners from 2011/2012 and, like an old lover, I decided to google them. I knew one of them was a published author now, so it wasn’t a surprise. What I didn’t know was that the second (of three) was getting the book I helped critique published by penguin in 2015.
I had several completely separate reactions about it.
Happiness! Because she worked damn hard on her book, probably harder than anyone I’ve ever met… and her book started out really good.
Excited! I have critiqued a book that is now being published. I feel sort of proud even though I contributed like .00001% to her success.
Blinding jealousy! That’s the rub. It took me a long time to shake it yesterday. I wondered to myself how these two people, who I worked so closely with, managed to get published when I can’t even get past the query letter stage with an agent.
I know she had a good query letter; I sat in “internet query workshops” with her where the agents helping us would request her book because the idea was that good… From the workshop…
The agents always told me my query was perfect, was good, but none ever requested my book.
When we had last spoken, I’d just suffered a blinding stream of 12 rejections, not one asking for pages and she had 9 separate agents asking for her book.
So, clearly, she had something special. I am happy for her, and I’m not just saying that. I really, truly am.
But I sorta wish one would just pick me. I think that’s the problem. Getting chosen is like a 1% chance, actually less than that according to some statistics. Still, it is hard to not feel your self-worth start to chip away under an onslaught of rejections… especially when the people you worked closely with are getting there.
I know… I know I shouldn’t define my worth based on:
A) Other people’s success for work I had nothing to do with. We are totally different people with totally different life circumstances and totally different books.
B) On what other people think of my work. I can’t base my happiness on what other people think of me because I will always come up short. All I can do is my best and be happy that I did my best. I need to choose myself as it were.
Those are two things that make no sense to get upset about and I understand that… but it still bugs me.