How To Deal – Success

30 Jun

This one is the hardest things to deal with in some ways – but not the way you think.

Anyone who had been in the writing world for more than 5 minutes has created relationship in this weird little writing world. If you aren’t careful, some of those relationships can get to be too much. Make some lines in the sand around you just like you would for non-writing relationships.

So, let’s jump forward. Let’s talk about success…. who doesn’t want to talk about success, right?


Yeah, me.

I’m really sick of talking about success – but, again, not the way you think.

In the last year, most of my writing friends I’ve been running with have gotten The Call. Some of these happened REALLY fast and some happened overnight…. If overnight means a decade. Some were typical debut little money but wow I’m excited deals. Some were a little more than that. One of my friends got the Cinderella deal – the OMG ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME LET’S PARTY FOR 5 YEARS TO CELEBRATE THIS DEAL deal.

There’s one constant in all of them – I could not have been more thrilled. Ever time someone I care about has something fabulous happen to them, it’s a little rush for me – exciting and sweet.

But that’s not the weird part. The weird part is OTHER people. Other People seem to expect jealously, anger and frustration. They seem to expect a divide by success. One person actually said to me, “How does it feel to be circling around in revisions while you watch all your friends succeed?”

My immediate response sounded a lot like an old record coming to a screeching halt. I’ll admit, I’ve been shocked and confused about that – about how people feel like success is a bell shape curve. Here’s how I see it:

  1. Love The One You’re With – Don’t forget, these are your friends. They were your friends before, they’ll be your friends after. That’s the bottom line on loving and supporting them
  2. Knowledge is Power – One of the best sides of watching my friends success is learning the ropes… not just what people tell you,  but really watching the events. If you aren’t paying attention to that, you’re missing a huge opportunity. 
  3. It takes a Village – Several of those books coming out I was lucky enough to get to crit or beta. I know my readers are invaluable to me…so, I’m going to claim this as a backstage win for me
  4. Enjoy! – seriously, success comes slowly and getting the opportunity to celebrate with your friends… well, that’s an opportunity you can’t miss. Plus, one day, they’ll be celebrating with you

But mostly, it comes down to this: If you’re jealous, if you’re angry, it’s time to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself: Are you upset about your friend or are you upset up about you? If you’re not where they are, is there a reason –is that reason acceptable (and honest)? Or, should you be doing something different for yourself? Because, when it’s all on the table, you can only control you: Your writing, your time, your drive – So, if you’re struggling with those hard feelings, take them and go write write write because that’s really what it’s all about.

2 Responses to “How To Deal – Success”

  1. Christa Paige June 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Saw the topic for this tweet and followed it on over here.

    What a great post. The reminder simply that it is about me and not the author pals I have, is so true. I know when I see someone excited about their good news I have that flash of joy for them. It also pushes me to hope I’ll be there with them too, someday.

    On the other hand, I do wish I could be keeping up in the same speed they are going. Right now, though, it can’t happen because I need to devote more time to my kids than writing. Ok I admit, while trying to bite my tongue, that maybe, I am a little envious that they are able to juggle life and writing better than I can.

    While people around me seem to be shooting into the author stratosphere one contract at a time, I have to be happy with my word count goals, promoting what I do have published, keeping up with the genres and bloggers, etc, while figuring in the writing when I can, because that’s where I am right now. I feel so lucky to have come this far already. Attainable goals are always in reach.

    I totally agree with you about learning from friend’s successes and the events around them. What great advice.

    Your honesty in this post is touching as well as something I know I should strive for attitude-wise.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. briaq June 30, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Wow Christa –

    Thanks so much for jumping in and sharing so openly. Yes, I really do think other people’s success needs our love and our on success needs our focus and dedication… otherwise, we’re giving the wrong energies to the wrong places

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