As writers, we are all looking for a certain amount of success. While we *say* we write because we have this burning need to, there's a story inside of us, for our fans, etc. (and it's all true), we also do thrive on and need some level of validation to know if we're any good, or if we're headed in the right direction. And sometimes, writing can be a lonely place full of self-doubt and inner-criticism. Even the most famous authors have admitted to the woes they've experienced while writing.
And sometimes those woes can lead to jealousy. Have you ever looked at someone else's writing and thought:
- Why did his book make it so big?
- How did she get that publishing contract?
- Why is my writing not getting this kind of attention?
- I suck, I can never write like him. I'm giving up.
- No agents want me. I'll never get one.
- My idea's not even new. Who needs another werewolf/vampire/historical romance/chick lit/ coming-of-age book?
But the first thing we must do and know and truly understand is that we are NOT competing against each other. Repeat after me:
We are not competing against each other.
We are competing against our own standards. The Indie community especially, I've found, is so generous with sharing their wealth and knowledge and lessons' learned the hard way. They don't hog it to themselves and wish for others to fail.
Instead, most writers I've come across reach out their arms across cyberspace in gratitude and give back. They share tips with other writers, they cheer for their successes, and they trade time and skills with each other -- anything to help make each other successful. They do blog posts about book reveals, they read advanced copies of books and blog about them, they critique each other's work and help work out the kinks, they take the time to rate them on Amazon. Because as an Indie author, we all need help sometimes, and we all know how important these things are to help the other writer succeed.
I feel a sense of peace knowing that I don't ever have to be jealous of anyone else's success. Because their success takes nothing away from mine. And without one another to cheer each other on and lend a hand, the whole wheel stops turning, and no one wins.
So, today, I am giving my happiness to a friend, a client, and a bestselling author named Delia Colvin, who just released the third book in her Sibylline Trilogy called The Last Oracle. Today I found out she hit #20 in bestsellers in Mythology, #3 in Hot New Releases in Mythology, and #8 in Hot new Releases in Psychic Romances.
Am I jealous? Hell, no. Am I jumping up and down and throwing confetti at her from across the internet? Hell, yes!
All I have for her is gratitude. For what's she's taught me about dedication and perseverance, for her willingness to help other authors, for her down-to-earthness (yes, I just made that up), and her transparency with her fans on her Delia Colvin & Book Fans Unite! Goodreads group, on Twitter, and on Facebook. The point is - she gives back. She has an abundance of gratitude and expresses it daily. And she cheers other writers' victories as well.
So, go be happy for another writer today. And then tell me, tell your friends, tell your fans, tell the world -- who are you happy for and why? What did another writer do that makes them one awesome person who makes you just want to love them and hug them and call them George? You get the idea.
Just remember, gratitude is a cycle, and you have to feed it -- in yourself and with others -- to keep it moving. So go be happy for someone else today!