Last night I read about a suspense novel whose premise is so chilling, I wanted to run out and buy it right away, with no thought for the fact that we really can’t afford very many twenty-five dollar hardcovers right now.
It hadn’t been published, or even made available for pre-order yet, which stopped me.
It wasn’t available yet because the offer had just been made. The author got a two book deal from a publisher that recently passed on my own manuscript. They publish several of my favorite authors, so that one was an especial blow.
As best I can tell, this offer came just a few months after the author was querying agents. Only a few months of the purgatory (it’s more like hell) of submission!
And I had a fullblown case of writer’s envy. Woke up with woozy, green pain and everything.
As writers, I think we are especially prone to this, making comparisons and putting ourselves in another’s place. It’s what we do when we make up stories, after all.
And publishing is such a difficult prospect that it’s impossible not to picture ourselves several jumps down the road, then wonder why we’re not there yet.
On the plus side, writers are some of the nicest and most forthcoming people I’ve met in any profession, so the envy is often paired with an I’m-glad-for-them streak. And books being bought is good for all writers, published and unpublished, because it kicks up demand and shows there is an outlet.
I’m so happy for this writer’s success, and can’t wait for her book, already on my To Buy list, a year before it’s published.
But man, am I jealous.