I started on my path to publication almost a year ago exactly. My one-year anniversary with my amazing agent is coming up in just a couple weeks. And suffice it to say I was very, very spoiled by the agent process. The speed with which things happened fed my natural impatience, and I began to assume that the book would sell just as quickly as it found representation.
Needless to say, it did not.
But that’s not what this post is about. Seeing several posts run around about bragging, and about angst, and about balance, I thought it was important to add this story. It’s a compromise.
TSM has not sold, yet, and in some ways that delay might be one of the best things that could have happened to me. I have grown, and I have learned some very important lessons, within the realm of writing and without.
I began my journey at or around the time as some of my friends, writers whose company I enjoy, whose support I have needed, people I cheer for, and genuinely adore. And several of these close companions had more luck, found publishers and began that chapter of their journey, while I did not.
At first, as I sat and watched that journey, I was delighted, but I did already feel the pangs of jealousy. Girls I really cared about got edits, and now covers, and I found myself in a real dilemma, happy for them and yet a bit sad for my own state. BUT THEN, and this is the important part, I realized something. No matter what, I am always the kind of person who covets my neighbor’s possessions. I suffer acutely from grass-is-greener complex, and I’m coming to understand that particular toxic syndrome.
My father and I swim laps together. If we start at the wall at the same time, I CAN’T NOT race him. I will always try, no matter how tired I am. It’s actually *better* when we are offset, when I can focus on my own workout and he on his. I keep my eyes in my lane.
Similarly, I am coming to appreciate being at a different place than my friends. Had I gotten my deal at the same time, I still would have felt competition, i.e. whose edits came quicker, whose cover was nicer…there will ALWAYS be things to compare. Maybe I’m actually gasp growing, maturing, but I’m happy that things played out the way they did. It allowed me to learn this about myself, it allowed me to write a second book, to even begin a third. I am happy for my friends’ successes, and instead of constantly comparing my yard to theirs, I see how nicely their grass grows, and it motivates me to work hard. We are in different seasons. And I’m happy here. I’m hopeful here.