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View Full Version : Dear Sugar- Advice for the Why not me's?



Sydneyd
06-01-2011, 11:47 PM
I am guilty a little of this. Not quite battery acid. I enjoyed it so I thought you all might...

http://therumpus.net/2011/03/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-69-we-are-all-savages-inside/


Anyone else in this boat? Or does this make you roll your eyes?

scarletpeaches
06-01-2011, 11:54 PM
I'm sick of being told that jealous people are somehow wrong. If someone says "You shouldn't feel like that," they're telling you that your emotions are invalid, or that you're wrong for experiencing such an emotion.

Whatever you feel is never wrong - it's a natural reaction to what goes on around you. Sometimes it can spur you on to greater things, to harder work, to scoring that book deal yourself.

So yes, I'm a writer. I get jealous of other people. And you know what? I don't want to change.

So there.

Let others feel guilty for thinking "Why not me?" I think it all the time and use it to make me work harder.
But the people who don’t give up are the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity. They’ve taken into their hearts the idea that there is enough for all of us, that success will manifest itself in different ways for different sorts of artists, that keeping the faith is more important than cashing the check, that being genuinely happy for someone else who got something you hope to get makes you genuinely happier too.Being jealous doesn't preclude believing the bolded part. It means you want it too.

You're allowed to look at someone published and think, "My book's better than that."

If someone ever does that with one of mine, good. I hope they use that feeling to prove themselves right.

Bookewyrme
06-01-2011, 11:56 PM
Interesting column.

I don't know that I ever really get jealous when my friends get book deals and such. Sometimes I feel a bit of envy I guess, a sort of "I want that some day too." But mostly I just get motivated to keep writing and trying to get published, almost in a spirit of competition. It's like there's a little voice in my head going "Come on, they did, so you can too. Maybe they beat you to the finish-line, but that just means you have to try harder now to beat the next guy there!"

Just my two cents.

scarletpeaches
06-02-2011, 12:00 AM
I think we're more or less agreeing here, Bookewhore. :D

I can think of acquaintances that make me think, "Oh fuck off," when I hear they have good news.

Friends, on the other hand? I can give a list of people who are published and I think, "Yay!" when I hear of it.

In both cases, I don't want to stop them having what they have. As I said before, I want it too. It's much easier to take when I get on with the person, though. That's just human nature.

I was about to say it's easier to take when the other person is humble, but there's a fine line between humility and false modesty/fishing for compliments, which I can smell a mile off.

Strip away whatever I think of the person and their achievement doesn't take anything away from me. It just motivates me to work harder in either case. In some cases to beat them. In others, to join them.

Sydneyd
06-02-2011, 12:00 AM
Coming from an unpublished unagented person I think there is a certain sense of there only being so many "slots."

This is wrong (atleast I hope it is) but when someone else gets that slot there is anxiety and jealousy there when you think that now there is one less.

scarletpeaches
06-02-2011, 12:02 AM
I can't say I've ever believed that there's only so many places. I can't see any agent or publisher saying, "Gee, you're the next Dostoevsky, but you know...we just can't fit another bestseller onto our list..."

If your book's good enough, it'll sell.

As Hannibal (the elephants guy, not the one off the A-Team) said, "We will either find a way or make one."

James Ebersole
06-02-2011, 12:02 AM
I'm sick of being told that jealous people are somehow wrong. If someone says "You shouldn't feel like that," they're telling you that your emotions are invalid, or that you're wrong for experiencing such an emotion.

Whatever you feel is never wrong - it's a natural reaction to what goes on around you. Sometimes it can spur you on to greater things, to harder work, to scoring that book deal yourself.

So yes, I'm a writer. I get jealous of other people. And you know what? I don't want to change.

So there.

Let others feel guilty for thinking "Why not me?" I think it all the time and use it to make me work harder.Being jealous doesn't preclude believing the bolded part. It means you want it too.

You're allowed to look at someone published and think, "My book's better than that."

If someone ever does that with one of mine, good. I hope they use that feeling to prove themselves right.

I Totally agree with Scarlet...pretty awesome column though.

Chris P
06-02-2011, 12:03 AM
I get monster jealous of people. In my mind, they had it easy (yeah, right) and I'm still trudging away. As SP said, though, I recognize it as my reaction to the outside world and something that I can't really change.

What I can change is how I react to it. Do I badmouth these people? Or do I see what they're doing right that perhaps I should be doing? Do I get discouraged and give up? Or do I evaluate my situation and see what needs to change and what needs to stay the same? "To thine own self be true" and in the end it only matters what I'm doing and not what I'm feeling.

Bookewyrme
06-02-2011, 12:09 AM
I think we're more or less agreeing here, Bookewhore. :D

I can think of acquaintances that make me think, "Oh fuck off," when I hear they have good news.

Friends, on the other hand? I can give a list of people who are published and I think, "Yay!" when I hear of it.

In both cases, I don't want to stop them having what they have. As I said before, I want it too. It's much easier to take when I get on with the person, though. That's just human nature.

I was about to say it's easier to take when the other person is humble, but there's a fine line between humility and false modesty/fishing for compliments, which I can smell a mile off.

Strip away whatever I think of the person and their achievement doesn't take anything away from me. It just motivates me to work harder in either case. In some cases to beat them. In others, to join them.
I think we're agreeing too, it's just a matter of semantics really. The line between jealousy and envy is pretty fine! And I agree, it is WAY easier to handle a friend's success and actually enjoy it than it is someone you don't get on with. But that's just human nature. No one wants to see their "enemies" get ahead. If we did, we'd think of them as friends instead. :D


Coming from an unpublished unagented person I think there is a certain sense of there only being so many "slots."

This is wrong (atleast I hope it is) but when someone else gets that slot there is anxiety and jealousy there when you think that now there is one less.
You're right about the perception of there only being so many "spots." I've luckily never had that fear. I'm not sure if it is because I've always been such a bibliophile that I realized there really couldn't be a limit, or if it is simply a function of my finding AW almost as soon as the possibility of getting my stories published even occurred to me so that particular fear never had a chance to take root. Irregardless, yet another excellent reason why I love AW and want to take it out to dinner some day and show it a good night on the town. You know, in a totally platonic way, of course. I'm a married woman. :D

AlishaS
06-02-2011, 01:06 AM
Interesting article...
I must say, I often think why not me? Especially when I hear that my friends have found agents (I still haven't) or they sold a book-or series- (I'm not even close) but I'm still happy for them.
Even though, in the pit of my stomach there is a twinge of jealousy, it's one that pushes me to write more, try harder and hope because if it can happen for them, it can happen for me.

Anna L.
06-02-2011, 01:23 AM
Feeling some jealousy is normal. What matter is what you do with it. If it rules your life and ruins your relationships, you have a problem. If it pushes you to work harder, no problem.

Kitty27
06-02-2011, 01:34 AM
Feeling jealousy is normal. But becoming a bitter hater isn't. Own it and move on. Some don't do this.

Sydneyd
06-02-2011, 01:39 AM
That is the line I think. Between healthy jealousy and bitter hatred.

scarletpeaches
06-02-2011, 01:41 AM
Kneecapping the mother who pissed you off is still okay though, right?

COchick
06-02-2011, 01:49 AM
Guilty. Not that I'm gulping battery acid, but sometimes I feel that twinge. But I think it can be good. It makes me work harder.

Lillie
06-02-2011, 02:02 AM
Kneecapping the mother who pissed you off is still okay though, right?

Yeah, that's fine.
And so is stabbing the husband and burying him under the garden shed and saying it was PMT when you get caught because the neighbours dog dug up some bones.

Jersey Chick
06-02-2011, 02:06 AM
I feel a pang of jealousy when I hear someone has landed an agent who's on my dream list. Why not me? But under that pang, I'm happy for them.

Then I remember - I haven't done anything to try and get an agent. It's on my to do list, once I've gotten everything else off my desk. :)

There's nothing wrong with that pang, unless it takes over and you become obsessed with the supposed unfairness of it all.

AlwaysJuly
06-02-2011, 02:30 AM
I feel jealous, but not like that. I guess because I still feel very optimistic about getting what i want out of the publishing world, so mostly I just feel impatient to get there too.

Sydneyd
06-02-2011, 02:38 AM
I think kneecapping is fine. As are voodoo dolls.

Mr Flibble
06-02-2011, 02:45 AM
I'm rarely jealous of another person's books, or writing because I can only be myself, not them(there's a few who make me feel like that, but I use that to propel myself on, and it's not bitter. It's more a wistful jealousy of awe, if you know what I mean?)

I'll admit to the occasional twinge about other things. Again though, I try to the force only for good, so I don't fall to the dark side.

Bastards

I fail sometimes :D

HarryHoskins
06-02-2011, 02:58 AM
Envy is the sincerest form of flattery.

or


If you want enemies, excel others; if you want friends, let others excel you.

folkchick
06-02-2011, 03:39 AM
Been through the whole jealousy thing before, and this is what I came up with: jealousy only acts destroy you, keeps you from enjoying your work, makes you burn up at night with why why why. There's always someone or some reason to be jealous. You have to realize that there is no best, only you doing your best. A person should be happy with themselves in their own context. Comparisons, a twinge of envy, it's all good when it's healthy, when it gives you that competitive edge. But when it comes to wishing someone failure, it's not healthy. The world is big enough . . . for all of us. There are not too many vampire books, or angle books, or sci fi . . . or anything. The world is big enough, and there are enough readers. Write your joy.

Jamesaritchie
06-02-2011, 03:40 AM
The trouble with a "why not me" attitude is twofold. 1. Valid or not, it's self-destructive. 2. It's usually pretty darned obvious to everyone except the "why not me" person why it isn't them.

As for slots, publishing is much like the structure of a good newspaper article, which is an inverted pyramid. Or, heck, a plain old funnel. The narrow end is at the bottom, and all the room is at the top.

Which simply means there's room for everyone at the top, but room for almost no one at the bottom. Publishers have an infinite number of slots for those who can write really well, tell a story really well, but almost no slots for those who can't climb above so-so writing and storytelling.

Victoria
06-02-2011, 07:08 AM
Coming from an unpublished unagented person I think there is a certain sense of there only being so many "slots."

This is wrong (atleast I hope it is) but when someone else gets that slot there is anxiety and jealousy there when you think that now there is one less.

Yeah, like 'Damn, missed another one.' I'm right there with you. But as jealous as I might get, I also get motivated. I mean, have you read some of the shite that gets published? Sure, there's some magically delicious stuff out there, but damn. Jealousy is a very natural human emotion, and it exists on several different levels. Don't get bogged down in it. Use it. Show 'em WTF.

blacbird
06-02-2011, 08:13 AM
You're allowed to look at someone published and think, "My book's better than that."

It's a bigger problem if you look at someone published and think, "Shite, my book isn't anywhere near as good as that, and nothing I am capable of writing ever will be."

Amadan
06-02-2011, 08:26 AM
It's a bigger problem if you look at someone published and think, "Shite, my book isn't anywhere near as good as that, and nothing I am capable of writing ever will be."

Yup, that's a bigger problem. It means you're moping and whining and doing nothing.

Relevant piece from the letter that some of y'all are missing:


It makes me sick that I donít feel happy for them, especially when it comes to my close friend, but there it is. When I think of their successes, it only reminds me of what I donít have. I want what they have, but itís more than that: them having what I want pains me.

If you're jealous because you want the success someone else is enjoying, that's human and understandable. But if you're gnashing your teeth that they are successful and you would secretly prefer that neither of you enjoy success rather than watch someone else be successful without you, then dawg, you need to slap yourself.

Snitchcat
06-02-2011, 08:36 AM
I prefer to turn 'jealousy' into 'admiration and congrats for getting there'.

Do I get jealous? All the time. But I don't beat myself up with it or let it turn negative -- already been down that road. It's self-destructive. The other thing I've learned that getting jealous, at its core, is an improbable comparison: you vs. someone else.

A true comparison isn't "you vs. someone else"; it's "you currently vs. you as you know you can be".

Just my $0.02.

Snitchcat
06-02-2011, 08:38 AM
And I agree with Amadan -- "if I can't have [whatever it is], then no one else can" is the worst attitude I've encountered. At that point, it seems necessary to say, "Get over yourself and do something productive".

Kitty27
06-02-2011, 08:40 AM
I always think about how long that writer struggled to get published. How many rejections did they rack up before they finally made it? How much blood,sweat,and tears did they put into making their book ready,the querying process,getting thisclose,etc?

Some people have been at this for a long time and I wouldn't begrudge them because their dream has finally been fulfilled.

benbradley
06-02-2011, 08:55 AM
Great song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SxdsoKK9B0
If only the Right People could hear MY songs...

scarletpeaches
06-02-2011, 03:41 PM
Some people have been at this for a long time and I wouldn't begrudge them because their dream has finally been fulfilled.Depends on how they treat people once they get there.

I know writers who immediately forget where they came from, as if they'd made it alone...

Phaeal
06-02-2011, 09:51 PM
The line between jealousy and envy is pretty fine!

As I was taught by the nuns, who know everything about sins, the fine line between jealousy and envy wasn't so fine.

You are jealous of what you already have, which you fear others will take from you.

You are envious of what you don't have but want. A lot.

It does look like jealousy and envy are practically synonymous these days, however.

Sydneyd
06-02-2011, 09:54 PM
Great song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SxdsoKK9B0
If only the Right People could hear MY songs...

Good song! Thread soundtrack :Thumbs:

Phaeal
06-02-2011, 09:59 PM
This was my favorite part of Sugar's answer to the Jealous Person:



...My gut sense of your letter is that you’ve conflated the book with the book deal. They are two separate things. The one you are in charge of is the book. The one that happens based on forces that are mostly outside of your control is the book deal.


As for myself, I really only roll on the floor when someone succeeds who (in my hallowed opinion) REALLY SUCKS. But that's not envy, it's righteous rage at the STUPID UNIVERSE THAT REWARDS SUCKULICIOUS STUFF. Instead of me. ;)

Kitty27
06-03-2011, 02:15 AM
Depends on how they treat people once they get there.

I know writers who immediately forget where they came from, as if they'd made it alone...


Bighead Syndrome,eh? Life has a way of slapping that right out of people,Scarlett.

scarletpeaches
06-03-2011, 02:25 AM
Bighead Syndrome,eh? Life has a way of slapping that right out of people,Scarlett.I have come to realise that rising to the top means more people see you, yes, but that means there are more people to call you on your bullshit.

The higher you rise, the more people there are to witness your fall.

And there is always someone who will rise higher. Integrity makes for a kickass stepladder.

/philosophical

Little Ming
06-03-2011, 03:13 AM
What do you mean one of my peers has succeeded where I failed?

*Murders world*

juniper
06-03-2011, 06:44 AM
Thanks, sidneyd, for the link. I need it. Bookmarking. Hiding a print copy in my undies drawer to look at later.

Susan Littlefield
06-03-2011, 07:32 AM
Jealousy is human. How we handle it is what is important. :)

blacbird
06-03-2011, 07:56 AM
I have come to realise that rising to the top means more people see you, yes, but that means there are more people to call you on your bullshit.

Hell, I've never risen anywhere, and people call me on my bullshit all the time.

Wordwrestler
06-03-2011, 09:20 AM
As I was taught by the nuns, who know everything about sins, the fine line between jealousy and envy wasn't so fine.

You are jealous of what you already have, which you fear others will take from you.

You are envious of what you don't have but want. A lot.

It does look like jealousy and envy are practically synonymous these days, however.

Yep. I didn't have a catholic upbringing, but this was my understanding, too.

You guard your possessions jealously, for example.

As for the sin of envy, I take it to mean that wanting what belongs to someone else—as in, wanting to take it from them in order to have it myself—is sinful. But just plain feeling that pang of wanting something is part of having goals, having dreams.

What would I ever achieve if I never wanted anything? If no news I heard reminded me of that or intensified that want?

Of course I have to be careful not to let it eat me up, not to get so focused on what I don't have yet that I don't enjoy what I do have. But I don't think God made me a dreamer for nothing.

blacbird
06-03-2011, 09:57 AM
Yup, that's a bigger problem. It means you're moping and whining and doing nothing.

Nope. It just means that the stuff I continue to produce is pretty pointless.

skylark
06-03-2011, 11:22 AM
Nope. It just means that the stuff I continue to produce is pretty pointless.

Why would it be pointless?

Sometimes I do look at the posts here and wonder if I'm the only person who doesn't think Absolutewrite is a synonym for Absolutegetpublished.

NeuroFizz
06-03-2011, 06:38 PM
Before letting jealousy take hold, look at the successful writers' asses--at how much they had to work off to get where they are. Then take it as a lesson.

I come here to AW to borrow from everyone else's experiences and opinions, to help me become successful in this endeavor.

I post here because I want to be around when every AWer finds his/her personal success in writing, and I hope some of my experiences and opinions give others a little nudge to get there. If I'm going to be jealous of AWers' successes, why would I contribute here?

scarletpeaches
06-03-2011, 07:10 PM
Before letting jealousy take hold, look at the successful writers' asses--at how much they had to work off to get where they are.As long as it is their own work, I've got no problem with that.

amrose
06-03-2011, 11:29 PM
Coming from an unpublished unagented person I think there is a certain sense of there only being so many "slots."

I too have "slot" fear.

I try to block this out and just send stuff. If I don't send it there's no hope at all.

Mr. Anonymous
06-03-2011, 11:50 PM
I think a little jealousy is normal. Everyone wants a slice of the cake. When someone else gets a nice juicy piece and you're still sitting in the corner, alone, hungry, waiting to be served, yeah, I think a little jealousy is not unwarranted. That said, there is a difference between wishing you had a piece of cake too and praying to God that Bob over there chokes on his. lol.

Sydneyd
06-04-2011, 12:05 AM
I too have "slot" fear.

I try to block this out and just send stuff. If I don't send it there's no hope at all.

Hehe "slot fear." It has a nice ring to it.


I think a little jealousy is normal. Everyone wants a slice of the cake. When someone else gets a nice juicy piece and you're still sitting in the corner, alone, hungry, waiting to be served, yeah, I think a little jealousy is not unwarranted. That said, there is a difference between wishing you had a piece of cake too and praying to God that Bob over there chokes on his. lol.

Or between wanting to sprint across the room, knock the chair out from under them, and shove their face in it.

Libbie
06-04-2011, 12:30 AM
Oh, yeah, I have my moments where I go, RARRRGH, WHY NOT MEEEEE?!!! Especially since I had some very disappointing let-downs with my first novel going on sub to editors. Occasionally, I do feel angry that I know lots of people who got book deals relatively fast and relatively easily while I am still struggling to write one that will sell.

More often than that, though, I feel inspired by the fact that my friends got good contracts. If they can do it, so can I. I'm grateful that although I have my savage moments, like we all do, most of the time I'm genuinely happy for others' successes and feel uplifted by the possibility that it could happen to me, too. And hey -- maybe I'll do even better than they will!

But yes, I have my moments of anger and jealousy, like everybody does.

Libbie
06-04-2011, 12:35 AM
If your book's good enough, it'll sell.



I don't think that's entirely true. That bit of advice gets kicked around here very often, and in my experience, it's just not entirely accurate. Maybe it depends on the genre, though.

With my first novel (historical), it got me a place in a very well-respected agency, and went on sub to major publishers. They all had very nice and wonderful things to say about my writing and about the story itself. I got lots of fantastically flattering rejections, which I still enjoy reading. They're very encouraging. But the book didn't sell. Most of the reasons given were "we're not sure we can market a book in this historical setting right now."

*shrug*

It was a good book, but so far, it hasn't sold. There ARE other considerations that go into buying a book aside from its quality. Trends have a whole lot to do with it. Publishing is a business. I've run businesses before, and whatever product you're in the business of selling is never the ONLY consideration that goes into making wise business decisions.

What's certain, though, is that a lame book will not sell. Usually.

Libbie
06-04-2011, 12:39 AM
As for myself, I really only roll on the floor when someone succeeds who (in my hallowed opinion) REALLY SUCKS. But that's not envy, it's righteous rage at the STUPID UNIVERSE THAT REWARDS SUCKULICIOUS STUFF. Instead of me. ;)


Word.

blacbird
06-04-2011, 01:07 AM
If your book's good enough, it'll sell.

Meaningless circular reasoning: The only way you know your book is "good enough" is if it does sell.

AlishaS
06-04-2011, 01:16 AM
This was my favorite part of Sugar's answer to the Jealous Person:



As for myself, I really only roll on the floor when someone succeeds who (in my hallowed opinion) REALLY SUCKS. But that's not envy, it's righteous rage at the STUPID UNIVERSE THAT REWARDS SUCKULICIOUS STUFF. Instead of me. ;)

Haha I so agree! I've read books that are just horrible and then get mad when they are making money at writing and I'm not lol but at the same time... I'm like "Good for you," You suck and got a book published, so that should mean I can too (cause I'd like to believe I don't suck) :)

blacbird
06-04-2011, 01:32 AM
On the other hand, if the really horrible book gets published, and mine can't . . . that says what about mine?

Cranky
06-04-2011, 01:42 AM
On the other hand, if the really horrible book gets published, and mine can't . . . that says what about mine?

It says nothing about yours. Really.

Amadan
06-04-2011, 01:54 AM
On the other hand, if the really horrible book gets published, and mine can't . . . that says what about mine?


AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!


:Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang:

:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headbang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair:cha ir:chair:chair:e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headb ang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair:rol leyes::rolleyes::chair:e2violin::e2violin::e2violi n::Headbang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair:cha ir:chair:chair:e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headb ang:

:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headbang:

:Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang:


Sorry. Couldn't hold it in any more. :Ssh:

blacbird
06-04-2011, 02:13 AM
AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!




Sorry it offends you. But I really reallly realllllllllllllllly REALLY hate that "if it's good enough . . ." platitude. We almost always see it here from people who have certification that their work is "good enough".

Wordwrestler
06-04-2011, 02:23 AM
I don't think that's entirely true. That bit of advice gets kicked around here very often, and in my experience, it's just not entirely accurate. Maybe it depends on the genre, though.

With my first novel (historical), it got me a place in a very well-respected agency, and went on sub to major publishers. They all had very nice and wonderful things to say about my writing and about the story itself. I got lots of fantastically flattering rejections, which I still enjoy reading. They're very encouraging. But the book didn't sell. Most of the reasons given were "we're not sure we can market a book in this historical setting right now."

*shrug*

It was a good book, but so far, it hasn't sold. There ARE other considerations that go into buying a book aside from its quality. Trends have a whole lot to do with it. Publishing is a business. I've run businesses before, and whatever product you're in the business of selling is never the ONLY consideration that goes into making wise business decisions.

What's certain, though, is that a lame book will not sell. Usually.

Thank you, Libbie. As the author of a boy-centric YA that got me representation TWICE and has not yet sold, I agree.

Am I really supposed to believe that an R that raves about the book, then says, "But we just bought a boy book" (A boy book, meaning there was only room on their list for one) means my book sucks?

Or maybe it does suck and she just made up all that stuff to be nice.

Oh, well. Onward I go with my "girl" book.

Bartholomew
06-04-2011, 02:23 AM
Kneecapping the mother who pissed you off is still okay though, right?

I believe the ancient Aztecs called it "hobbling."

Amadan
06-04-2011, 02:44 AM
Sorry it offends you. But I really reallly realllllllllllllllly REALLY hate that "if it's good enough . . ." platitude. We almost always see it here from people who have certification that their work is "good enough".


So what exactly does whining that you are cursed by fickle, spiteful gods never to be published achieve? You've gone way past sour grapes into Seething Vinegar of Hate with a Steaming Side of Self-Pity.

Little Ming
06-04-2011, 05:38 AM
AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!


:Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang:

:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headbang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair:cha ir:chair:chair:e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headb ang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair:rol leyes::rolleyes::chair:e2violin::e2violin::e2violi n::Headbang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair:cha ir:chair:chair:e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headb ang:

:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headbang:

:Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang:


Sorry. Couldn't hold it in any more. :Ssh:



I think I just had a seizure.

scarletpeaches
06-04-2011, 05:47 AM
AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!


:Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang:

:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::Headbang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair :chair:chair:chair:e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::Headbang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair :rolleyes::rolleyes::chair:e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin: :Headbang:
:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::chair :chair:chair:chair:e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::Headbang:

:Headbang::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin: :e2violin::e2violin::e2violin::e2violin: :Headbang:

:Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang::Headbang: :Headbang::Headbang::Headbang:


Sorry. Couldn't hold it in any more. :Ssh:Just to break up the icons to see if they'll show properly...

blacbird
06-04-2011, 07:52 AM
AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!




I have thought about replying here for a while, because I wanted to get it right. I believe you misunderstood the intent and nature of my comments, and I also believe I am responsible for that. In particular, when I said “my book” in an earlier comment, I was intending it figuratively, not literally about any of my personal specific work. I certainly didn't make that clear. My apology for the verbal clumsiness.


What I intended to indicate is my displeasure with the “good enough gets published” comment, which we see here about once every fortnight. So let's do some writerly math:


Publishable = Published


Publishable – Published = 0


GoodEnough = Published


Published > NotPublishable


Good – Published = X/0 = Indefinable


I have nothing but admiration for anything that gets published in a respectable venue.

DreamWeaver
06-04-2011, 08:13 AM
Pardon the following, but I'm very math oriented and therefore a bit confused.

I was with your math up to the last line. Then you lost me. In line 3 you wrote GoodEnough = Published, so the last line would read GoodEnough - Published = 0. Unless Good is a new, undefined term rather than a shortened version of GoodEnough?

Or perhaps you meant NotPublishable/(GoodEnough-Published) = X/0? The math works then, but in real life terms I haven't a clue what that implies ;).

Also, while Publishable is better than NotPublishable, in terms of *quantity* I believe it's pretty well indisputable that NotPublishable > Publishable, which also means in quantity NotPublishable > Published, since Publishable = Published was given in line 1.

blacbird
06-04-2011, 08:21 AM
I was with your math up to the last line. Then you lost me. In line 3 you wrote GoodEnough = Published, so the last line would read GoodEnough - Published = 0. Unless Good is a new, undefined term rather than a shortened version of GoodEnough?

You be correct, and I fixed the error above. That was what I meant to say. Ten hours of jet-lag and 28-hours of awake coming back from China will do that to one's brain. Thanks.

Amadan
06-04-2011, 10:56 AM
I have thought about replying here for a while, because I wanted to get it right. I believe you misunderstood the intent and nature of my comments, and I also believe I am responsible for that. In particular, when I said ďmy bookĒ in an earlier comment, I was intending it figuratively, not literally about any of my personal specific work. I certainly didn't make that clear. My apology for the verbal clumsiness.


Sigh. I got your point. My point was that your endless Eeyore act is tiresome. If you haven't been published, it's not because the gods hate you.

JoNightshade
06-04-2011, 11:12 AM
Excellent article. I succumb to jealousy now and then, but I think it really is just as simple as choosing NOT to wallow in it. I know my work is good. It will be published. It hasn't yet. Sometimes I get jealous of people who travel that road more quickly than I am, but then I remind myself it's not about speed. At least, not for me. It's about the integrity of my vision. Some of the writerly choices I have made mean my road to publication is harder. But I made those choices intentionally, and I choose to live with them. Even if it means I don't get published.

Yet.

aruna
06-04-2011, 11:59 AM
I am guilty a little of this. Not quite battery acid. I enjoyed it so I thought you all might...

http://therumpus.net/2011/03/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-69-we-are-all-savages-inside/


Anyone else in this boat? Or does this make you roll your eyes?


Man, that response is GOOD. Good, good, good. Yes, I do feel jealousy but I respond to it just the way SUgar advises.
I loved this paragraph:

I know the gulf between creation and commerce is so tremendously wide that itís sometimes impossible not to feel annihilated by it. A lot of artists give up because itís just too damn hard to go on making art in a culture that by and large does not support its artists. But the people who donít give up are the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity. Theyíve taken into their hearts the idea that there is enough for all of us, that success will manifest itself in different ways for different sorts of artists, that keeping the faith is more important than cashing the check, that being genuinely happy for someone else who got something you hope to get makes you genuinely happier too.

And everything else that followed. Very, very wise words.

aruna
06-04-2011, 12:10 PM
I don't think that's entirely true. That bit of advice gets kicked around here very often, and in my experience, it's just not entirely accurate. Maybe it depends on the genre, though.
.

Exactly. Writng a good book is one thing. Writing a book that publishers think will satisfy the market -- quite another.


Excellent article. I succumb to jealousy now and then, but I think it really is just as simple as choosing NOT to wallow in it. I know my work is good. It will be published. It hasn't yet. Sometimes I get jealous of people who travel that road more quickly than I am, but then I remind myself it's not about speed. At least, not for me. It's about the integrity of my vision. Some of the writerly choices I have made mean my road to publication is harder. But I made those choices intentionally, and I choose to live with them. Even if it means I don't get published.

Yet.

My thoughts, my experience exactly. I made my choice years ago and I've stuck with it. So I don't resent the consequences, which is not being published (again). Yet.

aruna
06-04-2011, 04:53 PM
BTW Sugar is thinking of book publication... (http://therumpus.net/2011/05/has-your-letter-been-published-in-my-column/#more-79568)

sonyablue
06-04-2011, 05:22 PM
I think part of it is the fact that this business is about luck as much as it is about hard work. You can write the best book ever, but if you have poor timing, it's not going to get published or sell. So it's hard not to feel envious of someone who worked just as hard as you did, but happened to also be in the right place at the right time whereas you did not.

But really, it comes down to how you respond to your feelings. You can let your envy motivate you to work harder and do better, or you can let it destroy you and demotivate you.