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.