February has been a great month for my little writer’s group. A publishing company just offered our romance writer a contract, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
A close friend warned me that once I was published, my life would change…and not necessarily for the better. “You’ll find out who your friends are,” he said ominously, intimating that many of my writing pals would not be comfortable with my success.
I didn’t want to believe it, but–even without selling a novel– I’ve already experienced a small amount of this. After landing an agent, I was suddenly persona non grata at a little gathering of writers, as one of my colleagues thought I should find a group that was more “on my level”. I was stunned, and hurt. When I first ventured into the corporate world, I was introduced to everyone on my first day as a “well-known journalist”. Many of my new co-workers told me they had seen my byline in various magazines. The more compliments I received, the more I could feel tension brewing between myself and the woman who held a similar position in the company. By the end of the day, the damage was done–she hated my guts, and did everything she could to make my life miserable.
I don’t get it.
One of the things I want most in the world is to be a published author–to make my living writing fiction, and I still feel nothing but joy at my friend’s success. She has been offered a contract, which is not only a tribute to her hard work and talent, but also a sign of hope. If you see someone you know offered a publishing deal, you have tangible proof that this happens–that being a novelist is still an attainable dream. Knowing something on an intellectual level, because you believe that it is true, and witnessing it happen to someone you know are two very different things.
Everyone in my writing group dreams of being a full-time writer. We all have different ways of going about it, but that’s the common goal–that’s why we’re there. So I can’t imagine feeling anything but happy when one (or more) of us achieves that dream. I believe we will all achieve it–it’s just a matter of when, and who happens to be next in line. But if I wasn’t writing myself, if I wasn’t happily ensconced in my rewrites of Dragonfly Summer, maybe it would be different. Maybe I’d have more time to cultivate this “jealousy” thing. I’m glad I’m too busy.
How about you, Dear Readers? Have you ever been the victim of the green-eyed monster? Or felt that way yourself?
Sending big congrats to Dee-Dee, who deserves this success more than anyone I know. You’ve worked hard for this–enjoy it!