Thanks to the joys of social media and the Internet, if you’re trying to make a go of it as a writer, whether you’re writing blogs, essays, or books, it is incredibly easy to discourage yourself almost instantly. The fact that so many writers are easily accessible via social media, can lead you down two simple paths.
One path, takes you along the route of jealousy. You’ll look at their Twitter feed, check out their awesome news and announcements on their blog, maybe scour their published titles on Goodreads… and you’ll make that hnnggghhhhhhh noise, wringing your wrists with frustration. You’ll yell at the sky “WHY NOT ME?” and then get kicked out of the coffee shop you’re sitting in.
That is not the path you want to explore, you guys.
The second path, is the route that teaches you something. You connect with these writers, follow them on Twitter, fan them on Facebook, start reading their blog, and foster a genuine connection. You share their success, and bask in it, because a victory for a writer you admire should feel like a victory for you.
You aren’t some hipster kid, raging at the fact that a band you used to like is suddenly getting popular, when really, you’re just upset that your band hasn’t made it yet. Don’t be that kid.
Instead of letting yourself grow jealous as you see friends, peers, and writers you admire hitting successful landmarks, do two things. One, celebrate their success, and two, see what you can learn from it.
Did a writer sign with an agent? Take that news and do something with it. Who is the agent? Check out the agency. Would they be right for you? Rather than lash out because someone has a book deal and you don’t, maybe check out their publisher, the acquiring editors. How can you send in a manuscript? Is it the right place for you and your book?
It’s an opportunity to learn about the industry a bit, and make yourself savvy.
Through watching the success of other writers, I’ve learned so much, met so many people, and made some truly awesome friends. Don’t let yourself get jealous. There’s no productivity in that. Instead, celebrate your peers, share their success, and see how you can learn from each one.
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Eric Smith is an author, blogger, and publishing geek living and writing in Philadelphia. His debut Young Adult novel, INKED, is due out January 20th with Bloomsbury Spark. His first published humor book, The Geek’s Guide to Dating (Quirk Books), has sold into six languages and was an Amazon Book of the Year in Humor. You can follow him on Twitter via @ericsmithrocks. Say hi! Also, be sure to visit his website! http://ericsmithrocks.com/