Friday, May 31, 2013

Fess Up Friday: I'm Wishing and Hoping...

I'm involved in the local media. I enjoy interviewing children a lot because they can be very honest about sharing what they think. Recently, I spoke with a team of really sweet junior high boys who competed in a technology gadget competition. During the announcement of the winners at the event, the runner-ups were announced first. The boys were disappointed they didn't hear their team announced for any of the runner-up prizes. 

When the announcer was about to reveal the big grand prize winner, also the final award, the boys were reassuring one another that it was okay they didn't win and they knew they all tried their best. 

Then the boys heard their team name announced as the grand prize winner. They totally didn't see it coming. How cool is that. 

Before the boys knew the final results, I imagine them graciously applauding the runner-ups, but perhaps feeling just a teeny tiny bit uneasy that their names haven't been called.

As an aspiring author, I feel like that once in awhile.  

Knowing how hard many writers struggle, work, and persevere toward their publishing dreams, I am genuinely happy for writers I know, even writers I don't know, when they hit milestones in making their dreams into a reality. The pursuit to get published can come with so many challenges and so much heartache and headache that I strongly feel we need to support one another. In fact, a major pet peeve of mine is when I observe a bitter person raining on someone else's parade, someone else's success.  When I hear an author sharing good news, I often think, YAY for them, and that could be me.

But sometimes, I also wonder, when will that be me? 

There is no answer to that. All I can do is work hard, learn as much as I can, support others, and just wish and hope that I would get to hear my name get called someday. 

How do you process your moments of uncertainty, in and out of your writing life?


Mieke Zamora-Mackay said...

It may come along sooner than you think, Cynthia. Working hard is really all we can do... and be nice to each other.

I just keep my head down and go forging ahead.

randi lee said...

It's great that you think that way about your fellow writers, Cynthia. I wish more people supported others the way you do. I find myself in little ruts of self-doubt and sometimes I just let them run for a little while, like a horse that needs to be take off the reins. She doesn't get to run too far, just in the local field, but she does get to get out. My doubt is just like that... I need to let it out and get it out of my system sometimes before I suppress it so much that it explodes in my face. Be free to let it out sometimes, but also know that you're one amazing writer. Keep that in mind and only let your doubt run so far before you put it back in the stable :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

One day it will be you if you don't give up.
It's all in the timing and there is a season for everything. Believe your season is coming.
My greatest concern is disappointing my readers. But I've done my best with my third book and that's what matters, so I just won't worry about it. Out of my control now anyway!

Julie Dao said...

I'm with Alex... it WILL be you. It WILL be me. It WILL be all of us if we just don't give up. I struggle with this sometimes myself - I am so, so happy for people when they make it, but there's always the slightest twinge of envy and jealousy. I think I wouldn't be human if I didn't feel that, you know? But just because someone is successful doesn't mean we won't ever be ... and I tell myself that. And I think if we put good energy out there and support other people, I really believe it'll come back to us. Hang in there. All this waiting and working hard is so tough, but the people who made it had to do the same thing. Just keep chugging <3

Paul R. Hewlett said...

Keep working hard and doing what you love. I know it may never be me, but that doesn't stop me from writing, working to improve, and offering to help others in any way I can. That is a huge key. I have met so many wonderful folks in the author/blogging community that I feel blessed. Thanks for sharing you thoughts.

Paul R. Hewlett

Julie Luek said...

I've been in that insecure place where it feels all too easy to sulk over another's success instead of focusing on my own journey. We are all so unique in our writing path-- where we're at and where we are going. So yes, let's rejoice with others who have followed their path and found their way. It can serve to remind us, rather of where we're not, of where we can be!

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah think all have been there a time or ten at their den. But getting to the end sure makes it worthwhile.

John Wiswell said...

Congratulations to the boys on taking home the grand prize!

As far as processing uncertainty, I usually do it in two ways. One way is to disregard it and continue working, since only work will be productive, not self-pity. If it's too great to disregard, I'll chill out and reflect on where I am, where I've come from, and what I can do in the near-term for the long-term. Pragmatism is always better than despair.

Martina at Adventures in YA Publishing said...

I love your analogy about the boys waiting to be called. And that's so true of publishing in general. I honestly believe that it happens when you are ready for it. Some people seem to be born with both word talent and story talent (read those phrases recently and I'm totally stealing them) but for so many of us, we have to work on strengthening one or the other. At the same time, we have to learn to take being edited, being questioned, being critiqued. We have to learn to value the gift of publication and to feel like we've earned it, so that we can survive the editorial letters, the delays, the editors who change houses midstream, the reviewers who don't agree on everything or often anything. But in the meantime, we have this cool job that lets us create and immerse ourselves in incredible worlds of our own devising, lets us explore our voices and our characters and our fictional themes without having deadlines and expectations looming over us. The waiting is actually an amazing gift. (Not that it doesn't still suck lemons a lot of the time. :))

Jill Haugh said...

Very bold to put into words that niggling little thought that simply must lurk in the back of all our brains, huh?
Given that the title of my latest blog is "What if I just suck?" I don't know if I have any great advice at this time. This is one of my Debbie Downer weeks. Sounds like everyone has periods like this, huh?
But we keep writing don't we?
Keeping it real and keeping it flowing is cathartic for us all. Thanks so much for your honesty. I sure felt better after I read all the comments left on my blog so I will say to you:
We write becasue we have to.
We eventually succeed because we keep writing.
You are a great writer and make my day many times with your blogs--so thanks for that. Onward and upward into the fog Cynthia dear.

Jill Haugh said...

P.S. I added that typo just to make you feel better.
Maybe I DO suck!

Elise Fallson said...

Have you been in my head lately? I swear this is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking just the other day. I'm truly happy for my writing friends when they finally get their books out and I cheer them on not because I feel I have to but because I honestly feel excited for them and it gives me hope. But, there is a small part of me who keeps wondering will I ever get there too? One of my very good and talented friends just released her book. It took her six months from drafting (it was her NaNo novel)to release. I wish I was at that stage in my writing too. Wow! As for me, I still have edits waiting. *sigh* I just keep telling myself that the fastest way to failure is to quit. So, I keep plugging away, I'll get there eventually. I hope!

Cynthia said...

Mieke- I agree that working hard is really what brings us closer to our goal.

Randi- I like your analogy about the horse.

Alex- I'd like to believe my season is coming too.

Julie- I believe in sending out positive energy to others too.

Pat- Oh I love our blogging community.

Julie- We can certainly be inspired by others' successes.

Pat- I think a lot of writers can relate to uncertainty.

John- I agree that working while we're feeling down can help us focus on other things.

Martina- I agree that the road to publication involves not only knowledge of craft but our own character development too.

Jill- I appreciate your thoughtful words. It means a lot to know my blog has made your day!

Elise- I totally hear you, I really do. We just have to keep at it!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Cynthia, this happens even after you see your book hit print. You compare your sales rank to others, your Goodreads ratings, and you think -- I am not making as big a splash as I hoped. What if this is the end of my writing career?

Last night, in fact, I spewed a bunch of insecurity at my husband. He said, "I can only tell you what you tell other writers on your blog. Keep writing."

And it gave me that warm feeling -- not just knowing he reads my blog, because I knew that already -- but because I knew it was good advice, and my advice, and it was right advice for me, too.

So like those darling young men at your competition, I will applaud others on their greater success, commend myself for what I've done so far, and keep writing. Like the boys at the competition, we don't always see the win coming or know when it will arrive.

Nicole said...

This is a great post (and very wise and true). You'll get there! Remember, sometimes things happen when you least expect them.

Anonymous said...

oh girl - you are in good company :)

hope is great, and if you have perseverance, it can be the best motivator! keep wishing and hoping.

Cynthia said...

Dianne- I think it's so awesome that your husband reads your blog! Thanks!

Nicole- I think so too.

Gina- You know how it's like!

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