Saturday, March 29, 2008

Addressing Jealousy

The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause. ~ Baltasar Gracian

It was mentioned, this past week, in passing during a conversation in the LASR yahoo group about how some folks are not supportive of other authors' good news. In fact, at times they can get downright nasty when other authors share their contest wins, new contracts or positive reviews. How sad.

EDITED TO ADD: I think some folks have misunderstood what I wrote, above. Please note, the LASR group wasn't the one who was negative--a member of the group was recounting something that had happened elsewhere.


I'll be honest... when I hear of friends or other writing acquaintances having great success in their writing, I often times wish it were me. But, understand this: I don't wish it were me at the expense of their success, and I don't want them to ever think they shouldn't share their good news, because I want to rejoice with them.

I think it's only natural, as human beings (and I'm pretty certain everyone reading this is one) to have a moment of -- Why not me, too?

Am I wrong? And, do you think that kind of feeling makes me a smaller person?

On the other hand, to think, "Why them?" is a lot different than, "Why not me, too?" -- yes?

I don't think people who share their successes, big or small, are trying to make me (or anyone else) feel bad. At least, I hope they aren't. I love to hear about new sales, or contest wins, or fantastic reviews. It's awesome! Why shouldn't they be proud. Odds are, they've worked as hard or harder than I have.

I have to admit to being very proud of the responses in the LASR group--we have a wonderful bunch of fun, supportive people in there, authors and readers alike, and have never had any nasty or unkind posts. I imagine that may change down the line, but how wonderful it is that people can feel comfortable sharing their triumphs in there, or their bad news, too, and know that the other members are ready with a "atta girl" or a hug.

Those are the kind of people I want to be associated with, and the kind of person I want to be. I hope I am, or at least that I'm on my way.

==========================

So, I got another rejection on "Kitchen Matches". I guess I didn't tidy it up enough after all. Once I'd licked my wounds a bit, I shared the rejection letter with Judy and we gabbed a bit... and you know what? I might just expand this out into a category length book. The major complaints I've rec'd from both editors are that the hero isn't fleshed out enough, the story just happens too quickly, and the H/H need more time together to make it all believable.

At first, the thought of expanding "Kitchen Matches" overwhelmed me, but after giving it some thought and brainstorming some ideas, I think it can be done. How cool would it be if I had not one but TWO submissions for HQA by the end of summer?

I think I'm going to give it a go.

=============================



You Are 64% Good



You are a good person. You do the best you can to be ethical, fair, and moral.

And as you know, being a good person means making hard decisions... and following them through.

If you're confronted with an ethical dilemma, you will usually do the right thing.

Of course you do slip up. No one's perfect. But you do your best to correct your missteps.

You are also probably: incredibly honest, especially with yourself

Right now you are on track to being: A respected leader

To be a better person: Be kind to someone who is not very kind to you

15 comments:

Allie Boniface said...

Wow, I missed that whole discussion about author envy - and I'm kind of glad. That's why I don't/can't spend a lot of time hanging out on the loops. Easy to get very carried away by issues. That's not necessarily bad, but it does suck writing energy.

And I think your reaction is a normal one: sure, I too feel a twinge of jealousy when other authors get great news...but not so much that I resent their success. It just makes me work harder for my own!

Sarita Leone said...

I'm sorry to hear you got a second rejection for Kitchen Matches. But my grandmother used to say that what seems bad is often good, and I'm thinking that may be a perfect way to describe your situation. I do think it would be great if you had two HQ subs by the end of the year! You give 'em heck, Marianne! I'm rooting for you! But I gotta admit, I'm curious to read Kitchen Matches...you've got to find a home for that baby so I can see what's behind that awesome title. :)

Happy Saturday!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I think I need to get on that group...

I'm so sorry about your rejection! If you want me to look at it, either for cleaning or for suggestions on expansion, I'd be more than happy to.

Diane Craver said...

I didn't even realize LASR had a loop. I better get with it. I think it's great for writers to share their good news and I'm happy for them. But I feel a twinge of jealousy it's not me at times. And my low self-esteem kicks in and I think there are so many better writers that I am why do I keep trying. But I do because I love to write. Anyhow great post as usual.

And sorry to hear about your rejection but sounds great to expand it and submit it to HQ! When my Whitney short story was rejected, a friend told me it would make a great book so I went with it.

Dena said...

I agree with you totally. Sorry to hear about the rejection of Kitchen Matches, but I'm glad to hear how you have turned that news into a positive and I hope it will be accepted as a category length book.

DeN said...

I'm sorry to hear about the rejection, but I'm pretty sure you'll get that acceptance reeeeally soon.

I feel twinges of jealousy when other people get what I want (tee hee), but then again, it only means that there's something else for me Ü

So to everyone who succeeded, won a contest, got published, or got great reviews, congratulations! ^_^

groovyoldlady said...

Fix Kitchen Matches so you can happily report your incredible success and we can all be pleasantly envious!

:-)

Tori Lennox said...

*hugs* on the rejection!

I AM 60% Good

You are a fairly good person. You strive to live a moral life whenever possible. You are usually kind, generous, and loyal. However, you do have a dark side that even you may not see. When it comes down to ethical decisions, you tend to take the path of least resistance. So you may end up lying, cheating, or engaging in other bad behavior... because it's just easier to do so.

You are also probably: Conflicted and confused about the current course of your life

Right now you are on track to being: A slightly crooked politician

To be a better person: Break one bad habit - whether it's telling white lies or spending too much money.


And people think I tend to be a Goody Two Shoes. *g*

Brandy said...

So Sorry to hear about Kitchen Matches.I am sure your idea of lengething it and resubmitting it as a category will work well for you.
I don't understand those that can criticize others when they have done well. I understand being jealous, but there is a point where you step outside of that and truly root for others.
As for your quiz: I am 88% Good.
"You are not only a good person... you are a model citizen and a natural leader.
Whether you know it or not, your high moral standards and good judgment is truly rare.
You don't take ethical short cuts in life. You are able to do what's right - even when it's very difficult.
And while it may seem like no one else is as on track as you are, take heart in knowing that you set a good example for others.

You are also probably: Very sensitive and in tune with the world

Right now you are on track to being: A saint

To be a better person: Gently mentor someone who is taking the wrong path in life."

I am in no way a Saint. *g*

Have a good day!

Amy Addison said...

Yay on expanding the story! I know it can be scary (the first time I had what I thought was a category novel and all the feed back was...nope, single title, I was terrified!), but you can do it. I know you can.

Go, girl!

Dru said...

I'm sorry to hear about Kitchen Matches. I think it's a good idea that your pursuing other avenues by expanding your story. By making it longer, will you be able to submit it to more than one place?

I think it is human nature to feel jealous of someone's good news, but you have to let it go and go out and make your own good news. We also learn and grow from other people's success.

You Are 84% Good

You are not only a good person... you are a model citizen and a natural leader.

Whether you know it or not, your high moral standards and good judgment is truly rare.

You don't take ethical short cuts in life. You are able to do what's right - even when it's very difficult.

And while it may seem like no one else is as on track as you are, take heart in knowing that you set a good example for others.

You are also probably: Very sensitive and in tune with the world

Right now you are on track to being: A saint

To be a better person: Gently mentor someone who is taking the wrong path in life


I am not a saint.

writingwrongs said...

So, am I the only one humming Hey Jealousy by the Gin Blossoms? Okay, maybe.

Although I'm not all that new-agey, I do like what Julia Cameron had to say about jealousy in The Artist's Way. Essentially it's a map--she calls it a jealousy map. I've always liked tha concept.

Hey, if you're thinking about expanding Kitchen Matches, there's always Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.

Running and ducking now.

Charity

Marianne Arkins said...

Allie...that's exactly how I feel--I'm terribly competive and others successes make me strive harder for my own.

Sarita, "Kitchen Matches" came from a writing prompt on Lynn Viehl's blog--it's about a cooking teacher and an auto mechanic. I hope you'll be able to read it soon, too!

Jen, thanks so much for your offer! Right now, I'm going to work on expanding it, but I may hit you up when it's ready for another go thru.

Diane, isn't it great to get encouragement from your friends?

Dena and Den, thanks for your encouragement. It's appreciated!

Groovy, once again--you cracked me up! LOL...

Tori, I was surprised I was only 64% good. Oddly, I thought I was better than that! Clearly, I'm lying to myself, LOL.

Brandy and Dru--want to mentor me, you saintly ladies, you?

Amy, thanks so much for the encouragement. I just really hate revising anything! Ha.

Charity... I may have to hunt you down. Right after I toss my manuscript up in the air.

MaryF said...

Expanding Kitchen Matches sounds like a good plan!

darcy said...

You know when I get jealous? It's when I'm reading something from a fellow writer and come across a line that is just so fabulous that it makes me grit my teeth and say, "Ooh, _I_ want that!"

I've been jealous over your work more times than I can count ;^)

-d