Clare London (clarelondon) wrote,
Clare London

JAN 20: Josh says, Color me green...?!

What new praise can I offer to introduce today's visitor that hasn't already been used in abundance?! LOL

Today is the turn of jgraeme2007, or Josh Lanyon in his other life - the life, that is, as best-selling, award-winning author, mentor, blogger and supporter of everything m/m - the fiction, the real life context, the publishing industry and his fellow authors.
What do you mean, you've heard of him?! LMAO. I can tell you, it's taking huge control from this blog-mistress to keep her personal squee under control!

And as of today, I'm proud (merely by association *hehe*) to be able to introduce him as the winner of
Love Romances Cafe Best Book All Around 2008
for Death of a Pirate King.

And not forgetting Honorable Mentions in other categories.
DOAPK available NOW at Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc and ebook stores, along with all his other great books.

I'll just add my own three penn'orth ('cos I can). For me, Josh is on my automatic-buy list because his books are good. DAMNED good. That's not just because they're m/m - or *despite* being m/m!?! *lol* - but because whatever genre they're in, they shine with quality, are a rewarding, exciting read, and provide excellent entertainment. Those genres include murder mystery, military action, spy and police thriller, and non-fiction literary help.

*clare hangs up her keyboard and becomes mere fan reader*

Find Josh's website HERE.

So... today's topic?
For me, it's spookily topical...sensible...measured...entertaining...well-written (there's a surprise ^_~). It's also extremely close to *my* own heart, having recently experienced the kind of me lose/you win situation that he describes, one that left me sad-for-me/happy-for-the-other-guy...*sigh*

Josh says :
Green is the Loneliest Number

I was trying to think today how to explain the difference between competitiveness and jealousy. Competitiveness, I think, is a useful trait for a writer -- for anyone, really. And jealousy is one of the most destructive emotions known to humans. But they’re closely akin -- sometimes uncomfortably so.

Competitiveness is what spurs us on to do better, to try harder, to win -- all good stuff. Sometimes winning means beating someone else, but it’s not the beating that should feel good so much as the winning.

I was trying to think today how to explain the difference between competitiveness and jealousy. Competitiveness, I think, is a useful trait for a writer -- for anyone, really. And jealousy is one of the most destructive emotions known to humans. But they’re closely akin -- sometimes uncomfortably so.

Competitiveness is what spurs us on to do better, to try harder, to win -- all good stuff. Sometimes winning means beating someone else, but it’s not the beating that should feel good so much as the winning.

If I’m competing with a friend for an award, obviously I want to win. I don’t want my friend to lose, though. If I can’t win, I want my friend to win. Sometimes I want my friend to win more than I want to win because my friend needs the win more. The only time I think it becomes personal is when we compete against someone we dislike. Not all our dislikes are reasonable, but that’s another story. If I dislike someone I’m competing against, then there is a peculiar (and not always guilty) satisfaction in whupping her or his ass. We’re none of us saints.

But then we have jealousy. Jealousy is a more exotic animal, a critter that many writers find lurking in the underbrush of their desire to succeed. Partly it’s due to the insecurity of our business. It’s competitive as hell out here -- it feels like it anyway. Publishers are going under or cutting lines or dropping authors. Even in the best case scenario we’re all fighting for the attention of editors, publishers, readers, reviewers. And everything seems to take so long. It seems to take forever to find a publisher, for the book to finally come out, for sales to improve, for reviewers to notice us, for readers to start looking for us -- and then to move one step further up the publishing food chain. And in the meantime everyone else seems to be moving so much more quickly -- getting all the breaks, getting everything we should have.

Yeah, that’s where the jealousy comes in. When it seems like others are getting what we deserve. What we deserve too. What we deserve more. Sure, we’ve all thought it: Why him when I’m just as good? Why her when I was here first? Oh yeah. I’ve felt it too. And the worst part is when you feel it toward a friend.

Jealousy is not a rational emotion because if we’re rational we remember that removing the target of our jealousy does not give us what that person had. If I knock Ginn Hale off, I don’t suddenly inherit her readers, let alone her gift for storytelling. Real life isn’t like a board game. Knocking another player off the board doesn’t send us to the winning circle. It just means we’ve behaved badly and now we have to deal with that on top of being sick with jealousy. And it is a sickness if you don’t get it under control.

Here’s something I learned long ago. Your success does not mean my failure. And vice versa.

I have friends who drive themselves nuts worrying about rival authors’ advances and sales. They worry about Amazon rankings, and who got what promo dollars, who got their books faced out at B&N, who got their cover in the Publisher’s Weekly ad, who got nominated, who won, and on and on because there’s always something that someone else is getting and we aren’t.

Learn from my experience. I’m not worried about what other people are getting or not getting; I’m focusing on doing what I need to do to build my career. Because that’s all I can control. And I learned a long time ago that my success doesn’t come at the expense of someone else’s.

Jealousy makes us do stupid things. Sometimes dangerously stupid things. It makes us susceptible to a pack mentality (unhappiness is even more contagious than happiness), it leads us to snub newbies and belittle our peers to each other -- or even try to discredit them. It leads us to make digs and snide comments in public and private forums. At its worst it leads to anonymous letters and hate mail. It’s a sad, sick thing and, unlike competitiveness which often motivates success, it distracts our focus and dulls our edge.

But it’s human and it’s normal. So what do you do when the green monster takes a bite out of your normally generous heart?

I think part of what drives jealousy is the fear that there will not be enough to go around. THEY’LL RUN OUT OF CAKE BEFORE THEY GET TO ME!! But while this occasionally happens at birthday parties (dreadful, ill-planned birthday parties), it doesn’t happen in real life. If you’re good, if you follow guidelines, if you keep at it, you will get published. If you continue to write consistently and well -- always striving to improve your craft -- if you promote yourself, if you keep at it, you will succeed. Will you be Nora Roberts? No. Maybe you’ll be the next big thing. Maybe Nora Roberts will look at you and feel a pang of jealousy. Probably not. Regardless, it does take time and it does take patience. And most important of all, it takes hard work and faith in yourself. A successful writing career doesn’t happen overnight. A successful writing career is built on a series of smaller successes -- several books and persistent promotion of the right kind (meaning readers don’t see your name and cringe). Every step along the way counts -- which is why you don’t have time to stand behind trees throwing rocks at the other travelers. Or even water balloons.

It takes time.

And that is a frustrating thing when you’re longing for success, eager for readers to find your work and share the pleasure you had when you created it -- and needing the dough, like yesterday. But when you’ve learned how to shrug off those resentful feelings, those envious twinges, when you’ve learned to regard other writers’ success stories as proof that you too can succeed -- rather than as someone standing between you and the prize, you will be delighted at how free you feel, you relaxed and focused again. And when your writing friends see how confident and productive you are…they will be green with envy.

Sez Clare: You've been great with comments this month, I'm thrilled. Seriously. Hope to see some more today?! *wink*


Follow this month with Clare (yes, it's all about the MEEEE...):

Week 3 :
Jan 16 : jenre discusses what she loves best about m/m fiction...
Jan 17 : clare posts YouTube frippery and her brief skirmish with a recording career...
Jan 18 : report from the prestigious *cough* OTP Con UK 2009...
Jan 19 : emily chats about the principles of good reviewing...

Jan 09 : ravensilver describes the creativity of independent manga publishing - and the challenges...
Jan 10 : kitzheng talks about Kink...
Jan 11 : chrissy munder shares the struggles of writing, NC17 penguins and mantyhose...
Jan 12 : 1more_sickpuppy bares her soul about confessing her love for m/m fiction...
Jan 13 : erastes talks about taking that leap from fanfiction to the 'original' world...
Jan 14 : meet my Muse, the 'man' who has way too much power in my writing house...
Jan 15 : Sloane Taylor heats up those chill new year nights...

Jan 01 : the Cheeky Cherubs welcome us to 2009 with a pithy verse or two and the threat of piercings...
Jan 02 : sweet, sexy fiction from lilzazu, all about the perennially tricky problem of a sticky shift...
Jan 03 : excellent editing tips for all authors who ever wondered whether to be cruel to be kind to their prose, hosted by jolilightner...
Jan 04 : Clare pimps the fabulous I DO anthology, now available in ebook and all proceeds to Lambda...
Jan 05 : abstractrx ponders the changing role of Romance and its reflection of - or on?! - the society around it...
Jan 06 : FREE FICTION from me and my friends!
Jan 07 : Jordan Castillo Price discusses what tempts us to try out a new author...
Jan 08 : Clare rambles on about perceived plagiarism and posts excerpts of her Torquere titles...

Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? (just a couple left now...!)
Comment HERE!!
Tags: authors, blog, blog month, community, m/m world
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.