I’m so happy for you…really!

'fingers crossed' photo (c) 2010, cinnamon_girl - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A whole stack of my writing friends just released new books.

Another group just signed publishing contracts, some for multiple books.

Friends signed with agents. Friends with speaking engagements. Friends with writing jobs that pay the bills.

I read their status updates and their tweets and I’m genuinely happy for them. It is exciting to see a dream realized and they are my friends, after all. I read their writing, it’s good, and I want more people to have the opportunity to soak in their words. Any time you seek to make a living doing something creative, it’s a risk and it’s a joy to know that risk is working out for people who I like.

Sometimes I worry that my congratulatory comments don’t sound as sincere as I intend for them to be. Because let’s be honest, while I’m happy for my friends, I a little bit hate reading those updates.

It’s not so much that I hate their success, it’s just that it reminds me of my lack.

One section of my proposal is explaining why I am the best person to write the book that I hope someone will represent and eventually publish. Seeing updates from these writers makes that so much harder for me to do. I don’t have any formal writing education. I don’t have any training in counseling. I don’t have any official Bible training. So my qualifications come down to “have a blog” and “have friends who are willing to let me write about them.” As I was writing that part, I felt exactly like this.

I think a big part of my frustration is that nearly all of the writers that I know, I know only in the Virtual Village. We haven’t had the chance to sit down over drinks together or talk about our favorite movies or give a real hug to each other. Don’t get me wrong, I value the relationships that I have with the folks online. But there is something extra special about time spent face to face. It’s a unique and beautiful thing.

Tomorrow I head to Story where I am going to get to meet a bunch of these folks that stir up feelings of joy and jealousy. We’re going to have a chance to drink and talk and hug. And I think at the end of that, the next time any of these friends post their good news, my well wishes will be all the more sincere.

At least, I sincerely hope so.


This is a part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. You can read more submissions and add your own here.

  • http://www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com Susie Finkbeiner

    Wow. Yeah. I hear ya, Alise! And I am looking forward to meeting face to face this week.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Looking forward to it as well! You’ll probably hear me before you see me. ;-D

  • http://www.facebook.com/JanetOberholtzer Janet Oberholtzer

    Oh Alise, I know the feeling!
    And I hope you have a superb time at Story meeting many of your online friends irl. Wish I could clone myself this weekend and be at two places at once.
    I will think of you as I’m at Fitbloggin’ in Baltimore trying to be coordinated enough to last through 5 minutes of Zumba or not fall asleep during a workshop of SEO and all that other crap about blogging.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      It’s funny seeing that from one of my published friends!

      We’ll meet up at some point – of this I’m sure.

  • http://sarahaskins.com Sarah Askins

    Oh yes, I find my “oh that’s so exciting” is a bit hallow because I want that to be me too. I tell myself that jealously isn’t good, but I can’t help it.

    Of course, I hope(sincerely for real) you hug all of our mutual virtual friends for me at STORY and hug yourself too.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Yup. I really AM happy for them (REALLY!), but there’s always a little backwash of “dammit.” I don’t want it to happen, but yeah.

      And seriously, I will hug everyone for you, and we will soon, soon, soon find a way to make a hug between us happen.

  • http://www.joyinthisjourney.com Joy in this Journey

    Gah. I hate that jealous part of myself. I hope one day to be mature enough to rest in the things that God has for me TODAY and in the times of waiting for the things God has for me later and be at peace about it. I think I have more of this story to live first, before I can write it. Meanwhile, I’m going to be the best cheerleader and encourager I can, and I’m going to tell the jealous me to go scratch.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Oh, jealous me is SUCH a whiner. Ugh. She’s not super talkative, but she seethes around pretty well under the surface. Every now and again I need to make sure that I expose her to the light so she shrivels up a little more. Because for the most part, I really AM happy for my friends’ good fortune.

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    we’ll have a lot to talk about. you never, ever run out of opportunities for insecurities, comparisons, and fear about the future. I feel like this post brings up so much I could write, but we’ll just have to chat in person. Thanks for bringing this up, as we all struggle with this.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      And really, I figure, what better time than before I meet all of these writers that I love and a teensy bit hate??? AMIRITE??? ;-D

      But yes, so looking forward to chatting with you in person. And I promise, I would talk your ear off anyway, even if I hadn’t brought this up!

      • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

        I also wanted to comment, “I’m happy for you, and Imma let you finish…”

  • http://bohemianbowmans.com/ Jessica

    I’ve also been seriously suffering from the online writer jealously thing lately.

    Also, I love you for the Office clip.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Ha! Seriously, that’s the main thing that was going through my brain. “I need to buy myself a world’s greatest friend mug RIGHT NOW.”

      And isn’t it funny? I got like a pretty sweet gig with the whole ADF thing, but then I go, “But I’m missing _____.” *sigh*

  • kalimsaki

    Just as the summer and autumn are followed by winter, so the summer of youth and autumn of old age are followed by the winter of the grave and Intermediate Realm. If there was a cinema which showed the events of fifty years in the future, the same as those of fifty years ago are shown in the present, and the people of misguidance and vice were to be shown their circumstances of fifty or sixty years hence, they would weep in horror and disgust at their unlawful pleasures and those things at which they now laugh.
    11.th Ray, from Risalei-Nur Collection by Said Nursi

  • http://www.seeprestonblog.com Preston Yancey

    I want you to have it right now. Because, personally, I can’t wait to read your books.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Aw you! Thanks! I hope that the time that it’s taking to get there will make it GOOD. Because that will be better for all of us.

  • http://www.tanyamarlow.com/ Tanya Marlow

    I know this feeling! In so many areas of my life… Thanks for articulating it so well, and for helping me feel I’m not alone in wanting to be like all the cool kids… :-)

  • HisFireFly

    I feel similarly conflicted when I congratulate others who are gathering and meeting face to face at conferences, getting to know each other in real life while I cannot attend. I truly am happy for them… and yet.. wonder when my turn will come and if I’ll simply get lost in the shuffle and left behind. He knows, I must trust that He knows.

  • http://lisanotes.blogspot.com Lisa notes…

    I appreciate your sincerity. :)

    “…stir up feelings of joy and jealousy. We’re going to have a chance to drink and talk and hug.”

    Real life.

  • http://twitter.com/mcemilywrites Emily Miller

    I’m looking forward to drinking and talking and hugging. And, don’t worry, I haven’t done too much to be jealous about. ;)

  • https://sites.google.com/site/holyhugs/ Jim Fisher

    Alise – You have one online writer “friend” who isn’t signing contracts, who doesn’t have an agent, and who isn’t trying to make money by writing.

    I think my Google analytics stats for this month might have hit 20. Ho hum.

    Maybe I was influenced by the creative writing seminar I took in college with Kurt Vonnegut years ago. I write because I like to paint with words. I write because it makes me weep, and through those tears somehow I feel more fully human.

    As Kurt said, we don’t write to make money, we write to make our souls grow.

    And some people are lucky enough to benefit monetarily from it. And, like you, I am very, very happy for them.

  • Holly

    Alise, your post just supports the truth of the matter:
    That all of us question ourselves and second guess our choices and think that other folks just have it going on…all.the.time. This could have been my own post, except I’m not even as far down the writing road as you are, and I would have been including you in the list of my current writer crushes and “Folk That Have Arrived.” And yet, here you are, uttering the very same thing. That is why I believe it will be so affirming and life giving for you to put flesh on all of these writing bones you’ve been stalking and hug their necks and look into their eyes. Everyone at that conference puts their pants on exactly the same way you do. Don’t you think they are any different.
    Go soak up all the creative vibes, the kinetic energy, and,most importantly, all the love. I’m sure there will be plenty of it. Grace to you, friend. Say hello to everyone for me!

  • Diana Trautwein

    It will be great. You will be great. Your time will come. And you have edited a book and done a bang-up job of it, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/seekingpastor Matt Cannon

    When I begin to feel jealous of the success of others, I try to remember what true success looks like–honoring God, loving family, being a friend–and it helps. The important word in all of that is “try.” (It doesn’t always happen).

  • http://teamaidan.wordpress.com/ Heather Bowie

    I will ditto Preston’s comment that I can’t wait to read whatever you write (other than this blog which I will also continue to adore). But I have to say I’ve enjoyed reading all of these comments and seeing the love and honesty shared all around. Have a BLAST at the conference and meeting these people for real!

  • Miles_ONeal

    I know this one. Thankfully I’ve learned not to be the negative type of jealot, but the positive type. Now it becomes a force to move me where I want to go, and I’m still happy for others. I’m really excited for you, even while wishing I were going to such a retreat. 8^)

  • Hazel Moon

    I just self published my first book, and so far — it seems I miss-judged the number who I though would purchase it. Oh well, some where down the road, I will have a LOT of books to give away it seems.

  • Sol

    This is always a tough balance . . . being happy for our friends, but also wishing we had the same success. I think the key is to differentiate between wishing you have similar success and asking ‘why them and not me’. I think it is ok to be envious of their success and wish you could be there are well. However, if you wish you were there in place of them, then it is a slippery slope towards a very jealous and destructive attitude.

    God Bless,

  • Pingback: Not naked, and not ashamed

  • Pingback: Not Naked, and Not Ashamed ~ A Guest Post | Joy in this Journey