I've been thinking about this a lot today, and here's where I express myself.
This year I connected with an awesome group of authors. I know this because they are snatching up publishing contracts left and right. They're suddenly living their dreams; my dreams. And that's okay.
I learn more about myself every day. While I won't lie and say there's not even a tiny part of me wondering when my turn will come, I'm pleased to say that I'm happy for my friends. I rejoice in their successes. My words are backed by genuine feeling--they aren't empty praise. I really am happy their dreams are coming true.
It's like this--I just met these ladies this year. Without asking them, there's no way for me to know how long they've struggled, waited, been rejected, submitted and submitted and submitted. And I've learned this year that writing--being an author--is a journey. Some of us start young. Some of us don't hear their call to write for years. And some of us, like me, fight it tooth and nail until finally accepting it. I've always known I love to write, but making a career out of it is impractical. A few are able to do it. Some have spouses who can help balance the family budget. In my case, I'm the "balancer" and in this economy nothing balances.
But writing does not come without challenge. Like most artists, what we do is tied into who we are. Setbacks are easy to see and hard to fight. Someone criticizes our work; we are completely overlooked in contest after contest. And, of course, we're our harshest critics. I applaud published authors who can go through this over and over again.
For me, writing is a walk of faith. I know it's the right thing for me. I know it's my calling. I do the conventions and workshops, I write when I can, I read whatever I can get my hands on to hone my craft.
I get how the publishing world can be competitive. There are hundreds, thousands of authors with books and only so many can go into print. But, as a reader, I also know nobody reads just one type of book, or just one author. If you love books, if you love to read, then you will read a variety of things. You might prefer one genre over another, but you're still going to read a variety of books. There's room for all of us. It doesn't detract from my course or path to be happy for my friends.
I just think it's awesome. I'm so happy for these ladies. It's the coolest.