The Green Eyed Monster
I have a confession. The green-eyed monster has been messing with my head in a big way lately. It seems that every other tweet has been a writer announcing their representation by an agent.
And I am beyond jealous.
Do I have a right to be? Heck no! The last time I queried was 3 years ago. After twelve tries and only six responses of rejection, I packed up that idea and threw it out the window. At that point in my life, I needed my work to be seen. Even if it was only by family & friends. I needed immediate validation for the tremendous accomplishment of completing my first book. But the sting still remains as the years pass and others are recognized for their efforts. (An insecurity I realize is closely related to my lack of approval by a parent.)
I have no doubt these authors have worked hard for their achievement. They may have even struggled for years to make their dreams happen. I am also fully aware that the route to traditional publishing is filled with difficult compromises with no guarantee of success. But a part of me will always yearn for this formal acknowledgment from the literary world - to feel like I really belong.
Yet, my reason for being self-published is not about settling. It’s more about accepting what I can handle in my life right now. The last few years have stretched the limits of my emotional and mental endurance. As a result, I am simply not capable of checking my email nonstop in the hopes of good news, or the discouragement of rejection. Maybe I will at some point. Who knows? I may get a contract at 95!
But for now, this author will stay active in the writing community, and continue to support all who are aggressively following their dreams. And I will patiently wait for the right timing to pursue mine.
So for all you writers in the trenches of querying, I applaud your determination! It's hard work and I wish you the best of luck in securing a deal for your book. And for those who have succeeded, congratulations! You deserve it!
For the rest of us, whether you decide to pursue self-publishing or traditional, remember the choice is yours alone. Be reasonable about what you are able to accomplish within the constraints of your time and resources, and postpone what you can't. There’s no shame in knowing your limits. This business is all about finding your success in the right season.
And don't let the green-eyed monster mess with your head!