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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!!

Comments

( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
jenre
Jan. 20th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, great post, Josh. It has certainly given me lots to think about.

One thought that has occurred is in how you define the difference between envy and jealousy. I noticed that you used the term interchangably in your post. Now I may just be arguing semantics here, but I often see envy as the lesser cousin of jealousy. In that case I don't think envy is as bad. In fact 'envious twinges' as you put it can, ultimately, be a good thing.

For example, I'm a blogger, not a writer - and a fairly new blogger at that. I read lots of other blogs and I do sometimes feel slightly envious of other bloggers. I wish I had their readership, or their talent, or their way with words. If I allowed it, this could turn into jealousy. I could turn into a 'comment bitch', or send them nasty emails critisising their review style, or belittle them in some way. What actually happens is that the envy spurs me on. It makes me want to try and be as successful as the other blogger. It becomes motivational, rather than destructive.

So, although I can see that full blown jealousy can lead to small-mindedness and irrational hatred, envy can be a tool of competitiveness.

I hope I'm making myself clear!
jgraeme2007
Jan. 20th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Oh my. Do I love your icon or what!

Yes, I think that while you can use "envy" and "jealousy" interchangably, envy is perhaps a little more related to covetousness while jealousy eats at the heart and soul. Of course it's easy for envy to develop into full-blown jealousy.

I think it's normal to wish we had some of the good things that others have -- its part of what spurs us on to acquire them -- it's when we begin to resent others for having what we want that it becomes dangerous.

I mean, it's one thing if we're talking economic injustice. Then things need to be addressed, but even that's not personal, really. Although I guess the victims of the French Revolution might object. *g*
chrissymunder
Jan. 20th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
As a relatively new-to-publishing author I offer up my thanks to those in the field that have already taken this idea to heart and shown nothing but support for my tentative beginnings instead of sticking a foot out and watching in satisfaction while I trip over it (Something I manage to do well enough on my own, thank you very much). I now attempt to pay that same kind of support forward.

I learned early on in martial arts - it doesn't matter how big, how bad or good you think you are - someone will always be out there with something to teach you (even if it's just a bit of humility) - the trick is to stay willing and open to learn.
jgraeme2007
Jan. 20th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, Chrissy, it's the people at the bottom of the food chain who are sometimes the least generous and the most spiteful toward their peers. When I was first struggling to get known, almost without exception the writers higher on the ladder, reached down to help.

And I think that is part of our responsibility to our peers. To share what we learn, to help where we can -- there truly is room enough for all of us.
(Deleted comment)
jackieville
Jan. 20th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Hi Josh! *waves*

You told me to come say hi! *g*

Even though I'm not a writer, I completely agree with you. Jealousy in anything is a complete waste of time and a joy stealer. My motto is do it for fun or don't do it at all. I enjoy being happy.
jgraeme2007
Jan. 20th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Hey there, Jackie! Yes, it's an emotion we hopefully grow out of as we mature.
louisev
Jan. 20th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
some of the sources
I think, from my own limited perspective (hovering at the edges of publication with a toe in), one of the things that leads to jealousy in the publishing world is the fact that in a larger sense, it is rife with entitlement. That is, a lot of publication takes place via "contacts" which depend a lot on who you know rather than what's in your manuscript. In this respect, the traditional NY publishing model is based upon referrals and recommendations from the inside, and it is hard to break in. As a result, getting started for the unknown is an exercise in frustration, and the traditional model of getting an agent who then goes for the publishing contracts, can, and does - take years.

That having been said, however, this is even more of an argument for cooperation between writers in helping one another so that those who work hard and do a good job can get their work into print and get fair and equitable contracts.
jgraeme2007
Jan. 20th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Re: some of the sources
This is true, Louise. It's true of how the world works in general. Personal contacts do matter, and this is why (a topic for another day) it does matter vitally how we treat others. The person who seems snubbable (now there's a word!) today may be the person who an editor or a publisher comes to for a rec on you down the line.

Besides...there's that whole karma thing.
Re: some of the sources - ginnhale - Jan. 21st, 2009 03:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: some of the sources - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 21st, 2009 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: some of the sources - ginnhale - Jan. 21st, 2009 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: some of the sources - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 21st, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: some of the sources - ginnhale - Jan. 21st, 2009 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
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jgraeme2007
Jan. 20th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I think it's absolutely normal to feel those jealous twinges -- I think we all feel them now and again. But, yes, they are destructive, they gain us nothing and they diffuse our focus.
Wow, This is a wonderful Conversation - orchideyes2 - Jan. 20th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Wow, This is a wonderful Conversation - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 21st, 2009 02:56 am (UTC) - Expand
dontkickmycane
Jan. 20th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Once again, Josh, I have to say thanks for the example you set. For those of us starting out, there will undoubtedly be pitfalls, but is nice to know there are others who know what they're doing and are willing to help us along.

You've made some very good points. This is an excellent post, and worth remembering.

Thanks, Jaime
jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
but is nice to know there are others who know what they're doing and are willing to help us along.

Jaime, this is a relatively small community -- community in almost a neighborhood sense. I think most of us prefer that our community be a healthy, happy place to live and work. I've found most fellow writers are astonishingly generous.

feed_your_muse
Jan. 20th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for a great post, Josh.
I agree, with both you and what a couple of the other commenters have posted. A little envy can be the spur to motivate, whereas jealousy can be destructive (and occasionally incite people to acts of rampant, public stupidity.)
A little kindness / generosity costs us nothing and can, in a small way, make someone's day a bit better (including ours). Which is a good thing! ::big_smile::
I do feel envy sometimes when I've read something that I think is exceptional. One of those 'God, I wish I could write like that / had written that' - but I try to use it inspire myself (and try to avoid depressing myself with thoughts of 'I'm never going to be able to match that' while I'm at it!)

Perserverance over whinging!

Merry

=^..^=
jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
I do feel envy sometimes when I've read something that I think is exceptional. One of those 'God, I wish I could write like that / had written that' - but I try to use it inspire myself (and try to avoid depressing myself with thoughts of 'I'm never going to be able to match that' while I'm at it!)

I can't tell you the times I feel that. *g* But I figure I'm working all the time to strengthen my craft, and that's pretty much all I can do. It's all any of us can do.
kz_snow
Jan. 20th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
I'm coming in the backdoor on this one -- that is, from the humility end rather than the egotism end. It's a door I find myself using more and more the older I get.

Learning humility, without letting it careen into more negative feelings, is a difficult process. The lesson plan can include years of rejection and brutal criticism or, at the very least, lack of advancement and recognition. The hardest lesson, though, and the ultimate one, is accepting the boundaries of one's talent.

I think what I'm getting to is this (and I'm half-listening to the Inauguration coverage, so I'm not fully focused right now): What's often perceived as jealousy is actually insecurity. And, sometimes, insecurity bordering on self-loathing. Trying to succeed in any of the arts can be ego-thrashing. Perhaps writers begin to strike out because it's less painful, less damaging to their self-esteem, than facing their own limitations.

So . . .

Be kind to your web-footed friends,
For a duck may be somebody's mother.
Be kind to your friends in the swamp,
Where the weather is very, very damp.

;-)
jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
think what I'm getting to is this (and I'm half-listening to the Inauguration coverage,

Was that not an incredibly moving experience?

so I'm not fully focused right now): What's often perceived as jealousy is actually insecurity. And, sometimes, insecurity bordering on self-loathing. Trying to succeed in any of the arts can be ego-thrashing. Perhaps writers begin to strike out because it's less painful, less damaging to their self-esteem, than facing their own limitations.

That's an excellent point. Yes, often that jealousy is sparked by fear and a sense of helplessness. And sometimes it dpes help to put hateful/hurtful behavior in context.

laaluna
Jan. 20th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
Choices
Someone told me ones that jealously is one way to recognize what we crave. For me to feel jealous is kind of a gift. An all consuming, deep, dark feeling. It often takes some time to figure out the hidden meaning behind the rage - but when I transfer the feeling and welcome it, I find myself laughing or sometimes crying about the child in me that still wants the biggest peace of cake or don't want to share someone. And I have a choice again to choose my next move. That's the advantage of adulthood. Everything we feel and do is a path to healing, to find another facet of the diamond that's us. I'm aware that jealousy is a way to make other people unhappy - but the reason behind is because of the own unreflected sorrows and there lies the real chance for discovery. It's a point of view. We are not affected about something if it does not find an answering accord in ourself. That's part of the dance of life. And a way to solve karma as well *g*
jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
Re: Choices
Someone told me ones that jealously is one way to recognize what we crave. For me to feel jealous is kind of a gift. An all consuming, deep, dark feeling. It often takes some time to figure out the hidden meaning behind the rage - but when I transfer the feeling and welcome it, I find myself laughing or sometimes crying about the child in me that still wants the biggest peace of cake or don't want to share someone.

That's an interesting approach. And, yes, to feel jealousy is not the problem -- it's when we give into it, act on it. Then it becomes a problem because as...KZ pointed out...we effectively stop looking realistically at what we can do to change our situation and put our focus on someone else.

And I have a choice again to choose my next move. That's the advantage of adulthood. Everything we feel and do is a path to healing, to find another facet of the diamond that's us. I'm aware that jealousy is a way to make other people unhappy - but the reason behind is because of the own unreflected sorrows and there lies the real chance for discovery. It's a point of view. We are not affected about something if it does not find an answering accord in ourself. That's part of the dance of life. And a way to solve karma as well *g*

Every day is a new day. Every day offers the possibility of starting over. Starting fresh. I mean, it's corny but it's true. And on occasion remembering that has pretty much saved my sanity.
eavling
Jan. 20th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
Well said! What you've written applies to so many levels of life, from business to personal to impersonal. (I am v. envious of the teeth that model has on the toothpaste commercial!) Envy and desire are emotions that copywriters target with cross-hairs etched into their pupils.

Jealousy, I've heard (and as seen on TV), can cause a person to do crazy things, like key newly painted cars or run over your cheating ex (as glimpsed with consternation on that corny show, Cheaters).

Jealousy's one of the uglier emotions, and it's often the subject of ridicule, but it's also used, almost too much, as a literary device, because of its power over one's rational thought. I'm glad when writers don't use it as the sole motive for a murder.



{{THEY’LL RUN OUT OF CAKE BEFORE THEY GET TO ME!! }}
This made me laugh and laugh! *a*
jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
Jealousy's one of the uglier emotions, and it's often the subject of ridicule, but it's also used, almost too much, as a literary device, because of its power over one's rational thought. I'm glad when writers don't use it as the sole motive for a murder.

It tends to get bit player status, but I think it's the Iago of badboy emotions. *g* We tend to underestimate how fierce an emotion it is.

heartofoshun
Jan. 20th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the win for Death of a Pirate King! Very well-deserved.

You made me laugh at points and nod at others. Hey, I want to be read. I'd be a liar if I said that wasn't true. But I do have my standards. I want to write well also. If being read means writing crap, I think I'd rather not be read. Then I'm not making living either--that's food for thought.

I am more jealous of people who write as well or better than me with seemingly less effort, than those who write better and, I know for a fact, work a lot harder. On competitions, I like to win, but if I gotta lose, I always hope it's a writer I admire who beats me. Sometimes I have even threatened to turn down a win if X-fabulous-writer lost to me. Never had to test that, thank god!

I do believe that honesty and work at the craft of writing will pay off in the end (I'm idealistic at heart!). Still grinning about Death of a Pirate King, head and shoulders above the standard romance, not even in the same ballpark for me.
jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
You made me laugh at points and nod at others. Hey, I want to be read. I'd be a liar if I said that wasn't true. But I do have my standards. I want to write well also. If being read means writing crap, I think I'd rather not be read. Then I'm not making living either--that's food for thought.

That's another great point. Winning because you managed to "fix" the race...how the hell would that be satisfying?



I do believe that honesty and work at the craft of writing will pay off in the end (I'm idealistic at heart!). Still grinning about Death of a Pirate King, head and shoulders above the standard romance, not even in the same ballpark for me.

Thanks so much. I was astonished, I have to tell you. *g* But what a pleasure.
ginnhale
Jan. 21st, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
WAIT! You mean I can't absorb another author's talent and success just by stabbing a voodoo doll repeatedly and feeling really really sorry for myself??? Damn it! Why didn't anyone tell me this before I bought those 600 Josh Lanyon dolls?

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jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
Jealousy is hard-- very hard --to deal with. I know lots of authors who have come to fame and fortune who started out right alongside me so I have a lot of experience with that twinge of jealousy. (In fact, pretty much everybody I know who still writes is now much more well-known than I am.) I think what's important to remember at these times is that unless you begin to act like a jealous and petty asshole, you will not be summarily ditched by your more famous friends.

No, my experience is that friends will do pretty much everything they can to help you succeed as well. Short of knocking off your rivals. And sometimes...

If your more successful friend is truly your friend she's almost certainly going to try and help you out. Whether that takes the form of an introduction to his her own editor or agent, or help sharpening up your business or marketing skills, or just lending his or her name and fame for a blurb for your book.

This again is where that sense of community comes in. There is no reason to divide into camps, to resent someone else's success -- because the truth is, professional acquaintances will often be generous, let alone friends.

Being jealous of enemies is just pointless. For one thing, if you really hate another author and disdain his or her work, chances are you don't share much of an audience with him or her anyway, so you're not even competing for the same readers. You end up filling yourself with ugly for nothing.

I always think this too. Odds are good that if I genuinely dislike someone, I find that there work is also just not my thing -- which means there is probably not a lot of crossover in readership.

And, incidentally, it's not just authors who will help you out.

I agree. I've seen some unfortunately behavior on the part of publishers, and it doesn't do anyone a bit of good. Just lots of hard feelings and usually a breakdown in communication.

The romance business-- especially the ebook romance business-- is slightly different and I'm not sure why, though I suspect that it's because there's less idealism and a whole lot more cash involved. Still, the increased level of cash is no reason for us to act like savages.

Love the savages line. *g*

Yes, all true. You know what I find surprising is how much more civilized the mystery community is in general -- and you'd think with the subject matter it would be a lot more violent in its dislikes.
jordan_c_price
Jan. 21st, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
Big, huge congratulations on Death of a Pirate King. I had to really let the ramifications of it winning "best book" sink in. What a huge coup for m/m (and, of course, for YOU! *smooches*.)

Jealousy is scary stuff. It leads to "if I can't have you, no one can" type of murders. And on a smaller scale, it makes people undercut one another, to assure some of that "cake" is left when it gets to their end of the table. Best simile I've seen in ages, by the way.

I had a co-worker who was always hovering around the edges of whatever anyone else was doing. You couldn't smile, laugh, or perform well on your job for fear that her jealousy would cause her to try and knock you down a few pegs. Thank God she's gone!

It's so much more nurturing to be in an environment where everyone else is happy for you when you do well.

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

This seems like a simple concept, but it's tough to wrap one's head around, I think. After all, there can only be one #1 whatever at any given moment, and if you're #1, no one else is.

But maybe the ranking is insignificant. Maybe what's important is that there can be an infinite number of kick-ass stories out there, each one different from the next, each one fabulous, and we writers have to stop worrying about ranking and go out there and start writing ours.
jgraeme2007
Jan. 21st, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
This seems like a simple concept, but it's tough to wrap one's head around, I think. After all, there can only be one #1 whatever at any given moment, and if you're #1, no one else is.

True. But #1 is a mutable, fluid, transitory thing. Because I am #1 at this doesn't mean I am #1 at that. And #1 today can be not-even- in-the-running tomorrow, so there is no one single, absolute #1 in our writing careers. Today my book gets Best Book on one list and on another list someone else's book is getting #1. It doesn't mean my book isn't still worthy of its #1 or that the books I "beat" weren't equally worthy.

I agree, though, it's hard -- especially if it feels like you never win #1 and the same people always do.
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zamaxfield
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
As always, wisdom, compassion, and a really great attitude. I have to say, I'm not troubled with feeling of jealousy for the most part, and I've never had the sense that there's not enough stuff to go around. Getting published has probably helped me to feel competent, and I am competitive, in the sense that I check those ARE top tens and the Amazon rankings and worry about reviews. But I've never had the feeling that if someone else is successful I can't be too.

I mean, when you (Josh and Clare and everyone I know who writes) publishes a book it gives me something to read and think about. It builds a readership of people who read the types of books I like, and if I'm good enough, they'll be looking for more to read because face it Josh, even though you try, you can't write one EVERY day. ;-) And while they're between great reads, they'll be reading others, and those can be mine!

I'm thrilled when I get a good review, but I'm thrilled when you do too! Egos need to be checked at the door in creative endeavors, because it's all subjective anyway, and living or dying by the position you maintain on some imaginary board or rank of writers is living in a fantasy world. Besides, I really mean it when I say this, I'm a reader first, and the more, the better? Is more better.

clarelondon
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
*applause*

Nicely said!
^_~
(no subject) - zamaxfield - Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 24th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 24th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zamaxfield - Jan. 24th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 47 comments — Leave a comment )

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