Rioter Navel Gazing..a nice change

About a year after my Somebody books were published, a not very fun thing started up--a big shift in my main emotion upon hearing that other writers got new contracts. I'd always felt pleasure at the news of new deals, but now my main sensation was bright green jealousy.

I'd learned to deal with this kind of garbage in another stage of my life. On a small scale, the new contract grunginess brought back the days of infertility. Gawd, I hated it when people I cared about got pregnant and I could only pretend to be overjoyed for them. I felt like a crappy friend back then--in part because it took me way too long to figure out that just because I felt something, I didn't have to express it, even to a very near very dear friend.

Anyway when this response to other people's deals came along, I wasn't suprised by the jealousy, and I didn't fight it, and I didn't compound the sensation with extra guilt about what a Rotten Person I Am. I certainly didn't act on it (other than a few notes of GRRRRrr notes to friends to let off steam).

So all in all, I figure I did an okay job. I'm not talking a big ass-kicking gnawing jealousy and I did manage to actually feel a measure of the good for you! response I'd send. But still. I missed feeling pure Tra laaa laa!! for friends who made sales. But guess what? I still haven't sold another NYC book or another Kate Rothwell book but . . .I'm over it.

I just stopped by Larissa's and read she has a new deal with Warner and my response was pure YIPPEE! That's wonderful! No bitter taste in the mouth at all. I was grinning at the screen like a maniac. And then I realised that when I read about Eve Silver's new deals a couple months back I also felt nearly pure glee (of course she's an RU and they have some Kately Dispensation.)

So sometime along the way, something changed. I have no flipping clue what changed. Maybe I'm less certain I'll never never get another contract?

No, sorry: it sure as heck isn't a new maturity, because the little part of oneself that indulges in that sort of emotion never grows up. If I go another few years without a contract, no doubt I'll feel envy/jealousy/whatever again, but what a relief that it's not a permanent condition.


  1. It's not easy being green.

    I'm still in the envy stage, but like you, I'm not all twisted up about it. Glad to know it'll pass.

  2. Oh, it is a stage and it does pass, lol. Like everything. I suppose when something is new and we so desperately want it, we think it will bring us happiness, and then we wake up and realize that happiness comes from other places. It is nice to 'grow up' as you said, lol.

  3. I am an industry newbie. You know that. As such, I simply never considered this. Naively, I always assumed that "getting published" was the goal. The idea of "sustaining a career" is just... too far off to contemplate at this stage in my progress. Argh! How nauseating.

    I get a feeling that my current stage is idyllic. All I do is write. On one project. No business stuff, no wrangling for new readers. No marketing. Maybe I should stop worrying about all the things I have yet to accomplish and just enjoy the fact that, at this point, the writing's the thing.

    Good wishes to you, Kate :)

  4. Yah, Megan it's only icky when a friend is the one who gets the deal and there's that dumb shadow. When there is a group of people who haven't gotten contracts in forevah, and a stranger gets the contract, the snark can be delightful. Heh.

    It's not a huge deal, lovelysalome. Just a blip on the screen. This is navel gazing with a powerful magnifying glass.

    And Sam? I so didn't grow up. I swear to God there is no way to eliminate or tame that little chunk of one's soul. Maybe it just got bored.

  5. Not a writer but I know what it's like to see friends and family get pregnant and know it will never happen to me. I always show my joy for them because I am truly happy *for them* doesn't mean I don't feel envy or feel a bittersweet sensation that leaves me wishing I knew what it was like to create a family with my husband.

    I'm glad for right now the green monsters have left the building ;)


  6. Anonymous11:46 AM

    I'm so glad I'm no longer in academics. I used to have the same rampant jealousy you describe -- turned against people my age who were getting more grant money/more recognition/more support from their department, etc. What did they have that I didn't have? (Respect, for one.) Feh. I really don't miss that.

    With respect to writing, I confess to annoyance when people I consider talentless get ahead. It challenges my view of the way the publishing world OUGHT to work: talent is rewarded. I'm uncomfortable with how much alchemy there is in this business.


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