Winners, Making It, And other Ramblings…

 Happy Friday everyone!

I don’t know about you guys, but this week sure seemed to ZOOM by.

First things first – time to celebrate my contest for two signed copies of Michelle Zink’s books. Our winner, chosen by Random.Org, was:

JEREMY WEST!!!

Congrats Jeremy. We’ll get those books to you as soon as possible.

Now….for today’s ramblings –

I was thinking about life this morning as I dragged (yes dragged – 4am is VERY EARLY some days) myself out of bed. Specifically, I was thinking about the amazing writerly peeps I’ve met over the past 2 1/2 years. About those that have gone from a crit partner, beta reader, or blogging buddy to published author.

Their journeys have been unique. And their reactions to their successes – just as unique.

Some have adjusted to their newly found spotlight with grace, never really changing the core of who they are.  Others….well some others have had a few more stumbling blocks through that process. And still others have morphed into people who bear little resemblance to the version of themselves prior to the agent, the book deal and the book tours.

All of this got me thinking….how does one “keep their head”, so to speak, when the realize some of their deepest desires? How do they maintain the genuineness and innocence they had prior to their successes?

I won’t lie and say I have good answers to this. But I will tell you that a lot of it has to do with knowing who you are PRIOR to your successes and remembering not to take yourself too seriously. I think it also has to do with remembering humility and constantly staying open to learning. These qualities shine in my friends who have manged to achieve pretty terrific things without having it change them in a negative way.

Now, there is a flip side I want to talk about too. Not only do people change with their success at times. But others treat them differently – and not always in a good way.

Some get jealous, looking for ways to tear their former “friends” down. Others like to cozy up to them (where they wouldn’t before). More than anything, my friends who have achieved successes with their books now have a rather LARGE spotlight on them…all the time. A target.

Not always a good thing.

You know what though, those same qualities – not taking yourself too seriously, knowing who you are, humility – those qualities help keep you sane when your faced with the more difficult aspects of achieving success. 

I found this great post about surviving online criticism while I was trolling blogs this week – check it out. It s fabulous and points out some of the things we can encounter when we achieve success in this business.

I guess all these musings just made me appreciate the friends of mine that have gone through their successes with relative grace. That is certainly something I hope to balance as my books are released and if I achieve my goals in the other areas I am pursing. 

Do you guys ever think about this stuff? Or am I the only crazy one that muses on stuff like this first thing in the morning???

24 thoughts on “Winners, Making It, And other Ramblings…

  1. Congrats, Jeremy! So jealous, but happy for you.

    Knowing who you are is vital in this industry, but I feel it’s also an essential of true living. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in a success, or a failure for that matter. Everyone has an opinion. Good ones are there. Great ones are hard to come by. Negative ones are everywhere–sometimes peeps don’t realize just how negative they sound. Thanks for the link on online criticism, Christine.

    1. Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird has a whole section devote to a friend who kept bragging. I haven’t been in that position yet – either as the one who is successful or someone close to me who has achieved success and isn’t graceful about it. It must be strange.

      Congratulations to Jeremy West. I’ll try not to be too jealous.

  2. Benoit

    Le succès peut faire perdre de vue la réalité et mener à l’aliénation.
    Je dirais, chère Christine, de réfléchir à ce que sont les gens et à ne pas tomber dans le piège du narcissisme.
    Le fait de vous poser des questions est une excellente chose.
    Choisissez bien vos amis (et gardez aussi ceux qui ne sont pas intéressés par votre succès), et prenez soins de vous.

    Success et giftedness, mêmes genre de difficultés ? 😉

    Benoit

  3. I’m determined to remember humility first and foremost in my life. If there is one basic tenement I’ve discovered, it’s the reality that there is always something to learn, something you won’t ever be all knowing about and that’s life. There will always be someone more intellectual, artistic, and innovative than I am.

    What that means for me – is all I can ever do, is the best of my own capabilities, and strive to live life on my own terms. This basic thought process, helps me appreciate someone who soars above me and not forget another who may need a helping hand.

    I want to be able to say I’m published, I don’t want it to change who I am. (Hugs)Indigo

  4. Congrats, Jeremy!

    You’re not alone. I think sometimes I’m scared to succeed because I don’t want to become the latter description, but everything is subjective and I have a fully the bad reviews would give me plenty of perspective as well. I think you’re right on about knowing who you are before success. Humility, for sure!

    1. Christine Fonseca

      I know…getting up at 4 is INSANE…but you know, I’m used to it now – and I wouldn;t trade the writing time for anything.

  5. I think about this, too, and wonder where some of the authors I was getting to know on LJ and other places disappeared to. Oh, yeah, they went off to that placed called Bestseller lists and major Author Tours. The jealousy imps rear their ugly heads, but at the same time I know that an author on major book deadlines and touring and having a lot of demands from their publishers is also SO busy I can’t really blame them that much for neglecting their online friends – or posting solely about all the wonderfulness that keeps happening to them; like 2n3, 3rd, 4th printings, book lists, foreign sales, touring, $$$. Oh – do I sound envious?!?!

    I just know that it’s hard to find balance and that stress happens to everybody no matter who you are. I haven’t been blogging much this summer myself mostly because of some real awful, emotional family crises going on and so little time to even sleep, let alone keep up. I also don’t comment as much. I just hope my online friends don’t think I’m ignoring them. Because I do miss them and think about them. And I read/skim every day . . .

    Okay, I’m totally rambling and I’m not sure this is even what you’re talking about, Christine . . .😉

  6. Great post, Christine! I think one of the best things you can do as a person and a writer is to know yourself really well as early as possible. Know what motivates you, what drives you, what makes you, well, you.

    If you can start out knowing that, it gives you something to hang onto when the waters gets stormy. I have a very, very good handle on who I am, but being published does make me second guess myself quite often. Did that thing I said come out wrong? How do I balance my own agenda of NOT promoting 24/7 online with the desire to help my fellow authors (both published and unpublished)? Am I making a mistake in reaching out directly to readers rather than pimping for more time on the blogs?

    Who knows? What I do know is that having a touchstone to come back to – a clear idea of who I am at the heart of things – always brings me back to the things that matter. It’s a reminder of who I am and what I want. Not fame or accolades or a billion dollars (though if those things came with the other stuff – the REAL stuff – I probably wouldn’t refuse!), but to live an authentic life. To make authentic connections that aren’t based on what someone can do for me or what I can do for them. To guide my children into healthy, HAPPY human beings who will make a positive contribution to the world, especially to those who are suffering in it. To pass as much time as possible in my own world writing the stories that come to life in my imagination. To remember my place as a very small piece of a very grand puzzle.

    Whenever I doubt myself or my place in the world – and in publishing – I remind myself of those things. I remind myself to strive for THEM not the other stuff. Not the big-headed fame stuff. The rest, I think, will fall into place as it’s meant to. ❤

    MZ

    1. Christine Fonseca

      I LOVED your response…it exemplifies one of the reasons I admire you so much! Come by and be “rambly” anytime!!!

    1. Michelle, that is dead on – right on! All we can do is the best we can do with our own circumstances and talents, trying always to look outward and be our best selves. We’re always going to fall short somehow, somewhere, or to someone, even when we are trying our best, but like the jealousy imps that rear up in my earlier comment, that’s about ME, not the author necessarily. I need to reign that in and know that my life and my writing are unique to me. Only I can write the stories I need to and want to write. And when you get a review or an email from someone you don’t even know talking about how you changed their life with your book – well, it doesn’t get better than that. And I need to keep that in the forefront of my mind on those days that get me down. That’s the person I was writing the book for, not the snippy reviewers or readers who obviously don’t get it. Or don’t ever read the kind of book I wrote and feel compelled to give out 1-2 star reviews. 🙂

  7. I really liked your post Michelle.. it is so true.. important to try to keep a perspective, laugh a little and love yourself and those close to you alot… as you drive down that road.. You made me feel cheerful this morning.. Thanks!!

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