Let’s face it, most of the time the normal people around us just don’t get our passion. And as much as we love them, we also need to rub shoulders with other writing geeks who get it, who understand how hard the journey is, whose eyes don’t glaze over when we start talking about our books.
|Sarah Forgrave, Jennifer Hale, Heather Sunseri, ME, Eileen Watson, Katie Ganshert|
If you have the chance to attend a writer’s conference at some point, I highly recommend it. They not only fill the emotional writer tank, but they provide countless opportunities for networking, meeting agents/editors, and becoming more familiar with the industry.
However, one thing I noticed this year while at the conference is that amidst so many talented writers it’s very easy to get lost in the crowd, to feel like a nobody, and to start comparing. Yes. It’s easy to feel insignificant in a large group like that, even for an author like me who has a couple of published books under her belt.
Of course I had to think through the whole conference experience. Here are a few things I came away from the conference realizing:
There will always be people who won’t know us or even care about us.
When I went to my first writer’s conference as a newly agented and contracted author, I expected to be an unknown name. But this year, even with a large social media presence and two published books, I still was relatively unknown among the hundreds of other authors. Plenty of people didn’t know the slightest thing about me, my books, or my blog.
And that’s true everywhere I go in real life too. I don’t have the paparazzi camped in my front lawn. Hoards of fans don’t follow me around town swooning over me. Quite honestly, most people I meet on a daily basis don’t even know I’m a writer unless I tell them.
What does the obscurity teach us? We can’t be in this business for the fame that it brings, because it brings very little recognition for the average author. Maybe boatloads of people won’t care about us, but that should make us all the more motivated to care about those whose paths intersect ours.
There will always be others ahead of us in the publishing journey.
As I mentioned, I went into this year’s conference with two published books. I couldn’t ask for more. I’m living the dream. I have a third book releasing next year and recently signed a contract for another three book deal with Bethany House Publisher.
But as I began to listen to the accolades of other writers, the numbers of books they’d published, the multiple awards, the numerous years they’d been writing, I started to feel pretty young and inexperienced.
What does the inexperience teach us? We will always have a lot to learn. We can’t ever think we’ve arrived. We need to remember those authors ahead of us have worked really, really hard to get to where they’re at. They didn’t magically bypass all the years of labor and writing to accomplish what they did. If we hope to reach a point of success, then we have to put in the time too.
There will always be newer writers coming along behind us.
Unfortunately, I met some experienced authors at the conference around whom I felt like a speck of dust. Maybe they were too busy, too disinterested, too caught up in their own importance to have the time for younger authors like me. Oh sure, a conference is a busy time for authors, the one time a year we get to hang out with our closer writing friends. The conference is crowded, it’s hard to visit with everyone, and time is limited.
And yet I was reminded that I can't forget newer writers and young authors are important too. Once we’re published, it’s all too easy to fall into a trap of pride and think we’re “all that.” Sometimes we can turn up our noses at others, even when we don’t mean to.
What does the tendency toward pride teach us? We can’t forget we were once new, that we were the low person on the totem pole, that not long ago we felt scared and insignificant too. If we remember where we came from, then we’ll be able to reach a hand back with genuine kindness and concern for those who follow.
What about you? Amidst all of the talented writers out there, have you ever felt like you’re getting lost in the crowd? Have you felt like a nobody? What is your advice for those further ahead of you?
BLOG TOUR STOPS AND BOOK GIVEAWAYS!!!
Monday 10/3: I'm on Joan Swan's blog telling who has influenced my writing the most. AND Joan is giving away gorgeous custom made bookmarks!
Monday 10/3: Beth Vogt is hosting me over at The MBT Ponderers blog and asked me to share what I'm currently pondering!
Monday & Tuesday 10/3-10/4: I'm visiting Making Home Work blog and sharing more about how I juggle working from home and being a mom.