February 27, 2009
Stop the World
Monday was a bad day. It was the epitome of "bad Mondays" and, honestly, I don't remember why other than I was sick, had been sick for about three weeks straight – through a convention, a lot of Amazon work and writing. Then some drama reared its ugly head and I snapped in a bad way. I knew it was time to take some time off, to not work, to not write, to not edit, to not deal with anything other than sleeping, reading, watching TV or playing mindless video games.
I think I've slept more in the last four days than I have in the previous week and I feel so much better. I really do. I did nothing. I got off the world for a bit and recuperated. I think I can say I'm over being sick finally. Also, I'm back to dreaming which tells me I'm getting enough rest. Jeff has cared for me as best he could which meant he basically left me alone except for making sure I ate and had enough cuddles.
I'm lucky in the fact that I have a job that does allow me to take a break like this. Usually, I'll take a Friday and hide. This time, I made sure my "pays the bills" writing was done, deferred the next gig until next week and then checked out. Then I got better and for that, I'm grateful.
My top choice of agent did turn me down (again – different agency) because she just doesn't have time to take me on. She is a one woman show right now with some big named clients. I have to admit, this does give me a great "been there, done that" story for the future that will start out something like, "Agents don't call authors just to tell them 'no.'... unless you're me."
Still, Christi gave me a much needed ego boost and assurances that I am a decent author. She is personally calling some of her other agent friends and recommending me to them. She didn't have to do that but she did it anyway. So, I am back to being "so close" to what I want again. That's OK. I have three recommended agents to query to with Christi personally recommending me to two of them.
In the meantime, I have my current writing, editing my Colonial Gothic setting now that my editor there has had a chance to look at it and next week I will be in a teleconference with an independent press about editing their next anthology. Yep, this one looks like it will be a solo venture and I'm going to have to take what I've learned from Amanda and apply it on this new project. Once I have all the details and can announce it, I will.
Jay Lake recently wrote about author friends who react badly to someone else's literary success and how his personal experience with his mentor hurt him a lot. Jealousy is an ugly emotion and it is one I strive to avoid at all costs. It is an intolerance of another's success. Envy, on the other hand, is awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same. It is why I state I can be envious without being jealous. This was my response to his post about the situation.
"This is a very interesting topic to me. I admit to feeling envious of my friends all around me who have novels out there or three book contracts with Tor and other such things. However, I don't feel -jealous- and that, to me, is an important distinction. I do not begrudge any one of my friends their success. Not at all. More power to them and good luck.
But, damn, sometimes I really want to be like them. I want an agent. I want novels on the shelf. I want all of those things.
At the same time, many of my friends, author and non-author alike, consider me a great success. A "real live author" is what one of them called me recently. I have contributed to a dozen RPG books and half a dozen anthologies. I've edited one anthology and I'm going to edit another.
Still... it's not enough for me.
But I would never hate any of my friends for getting out there and getting a novel published. I am envious of their success but not jealous."