|Authors incognito group 2012|
Several years ago, while camping out with my extended family, I heard my younger cousin say, "What I want to know is when do I start making the really big money?" He’d been talking to somebody else about his Engineering degree and the new job he had.
At the time I was lucky to be making about $30 per year including benefits. He was making $48 – 49 K plus benefits. I’d been in the workforce for over twenty years. I’d gone to college and my younger cousin outdid me right out of the box.
Reunions are like that. It’s hard to not compare yourself to your more successful peers or family members.
Although there is much to learn at writer’s conferences, they’re a lot like reunions. I get to reconnect with all the friends I’ve made over the years. I get to meet new friends and finally shake hands with those I’ve met online in social media or from blogs.
Also, like the family camping trip I mentioned, there are numerous opportunities for comparison. Especially when you’ve been working as long as I have. It seems there is always someone new who never attended a single conference, has only been writing for a year, and they announce their new publishing contract.
I admit, I’m jealous. I would’ve loved to have that happen to me. The truth, however, is I wasn’t good enough. I’ve gotten better as the years have passed, but my first manuscript just wasn’t what I wish it had been. My first submission was rejected with a note that suggested I attend some workshops and writer’s conferences.
If I had, already, been doing that, I might’ve gotten that book published. Then, again, I’m a much better writer now, and I might’ve regretted having a lower quality book in my list of accomplishments.
So, having said all that about jealousy. You should know that some of my best close friends were published with (what seemed to be) little effort, but I know the real stories. Before we make judgements, consider we all have different struggles. Some things are easier for some than for others. The things that come easy to us totally devastate others.
I’ve also considered the possibility that I might be doing more good through supporting others. Simply put, there are players and there are cheerleaders. Each role is necessary, and everybody plays a part, even the spectators.
I know my publishing goals will someday be realized. At that time, I will have more cheerleaders than I deserve. Simply because I’ve been a friend. The truth is I’ve gotten more from our friendship than I ever gave.
At this writing, I look forward to the 2013 LDStorymakers Writer’s Conference. I can’t wait to renew my friendships with my writing family. I hope there are many who realized their publishing goals over the past year. I applaud those who continue to work day after day. To be fair about my cousin, he felt insecure in spending so much time in college. He had a family to support and loans to pay off. He felt he was being judged.
See you at the reunion . . . uh conference. Good luck with your writing—see you next week.