Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I'm a competitive person.
This helps, in a lot of ways, when I can channel it correctly--challenge myself to write every day for a month? Heck yes! How many hours can I rack up on my dissertation in a week? Bring it!
But sometimes, it makes me a little jealous of things other people have.
So I've been carefully dipping my toe into this community of the to-be-published. (I dislike the term "aspiring writer"--if you aspire to write, well, stop aspiring and put your fingers on the keyboard!) I figured that if I saw other people making progress, getting agents, making way with their self-published books...I would get jealous, and be uninspired to write.
Then I ran into a gal over at Absolute Write. You might know her as Josin McQuein; she honestly doesn't know me from Adam (maybe she will now). But I threw a couple crits her way for one query. Then she threw up another, which made its way onto Query Shark as a winner. I didn't manage to even get to say boo to that one before it went up on QS and was a huge success.
Fast forward a year. She's got a great agent, a three-book deal with one publisher for her dystopian, ARCLIGHT, another deal for PREMEDITATED (the Query Shark book), coming out with Delacorte, and god knows how many more awesome titles in her brain and making their way down on paper (I know there's at least one more already with her agent.)
I have another friend of an online friend, Emma Trevayne. She had a fast agent hunt, but a more normal progress toward sale (Josin was scary fast...it was fun to watch). But after a few [edited because Emma tells me it was shorter than I thought!] months, she's got a deal too, for her cyberpunk YA, CODA.
I figured as I got to know people who were doing exactly what I want to do, I'd turn it into a competition. I'd want to have it be about some people winning, and some people (me, in this instance), losing. But instead, this really strange thing happened. I didn't sit there and go, "Poor little ole me," the way I feared I might.
Nah. I got excited. Thrilled to see others I know, no matter how tangentially, making progress and having (at times huge!) success.
I thought it'd make me want to sit in a corner with my WIPs and cry. But instead, it makes me want to write.
PREMEDITATED and CODA are, right now, my two most anticipated reads of 2013. I am so excited for both their authors, and you should follow the links above and add them to your goodreads, because I'm positive these are both going to be great. I hope 2012 hurries up and finishes so I can read them.
But in the meantime, I'm just going to sit here and let this green-eyed non-monster fuel me on, too.
What inspires you to keep at it?
Jessica S. Schley was once a pusher of very important papers for a small commercial nonfiction house. Nowadays, she divides her time between bookselling, being a grad student, and writing contemporary fiction for young adults.
- ▼ March (4)