DISCLAIMER: The characters in this post may or may not be based on real people, and even if they are, events described herein are probably just approximations of what really happened anyway.
THE POST: Family and friends are great, but they don’t understand author milestones, nor do they understand what it takes to achieve them. And when we fall, they don’t have the first clue about how to help us up. They may start to come around, but it can take years. This is why, authors, we need to stock our author communities. Because when it comes to being an author, family and friends a cheerleading section do not make.
Take for example…
(Let’s call her…) JOSIE: I finished my book!
JOSIE’S DAD: That’s good.
JOSIE: It’s, like, a big deal.
JOSIE’S DAD: Congratulations.
JOSIE: Bigger than that.
(Later, hypothetically of course, Josie tweets the news.)
30-40 RANDOM AUTHORS: That’s so awesome! … Congratulations! … (GIF of two ponies high-fiving)
JOSIE: I got a literary agent!
JOSIE’S SISTER: That’s nice.
JOSIE: (smile fading) It’s, like, really hard to do.
JOSIE’S MOM: We’d like to take you out for your birthday next week.
JOSIE (in a half-joking tone): Don’t you people listen? I don’t celebrate birthdays anymore. If you want to take me out for dinner, it can be to celebrate the fact that I GOT A LITERARY AGENT!
(Two days later, Josie runs into author friend Sam at karaoke bar.)
JOSIE: I’m glad I ran into you. I have some news. I got a literary agent!
SAM: (jumps up and down in full range of the microphone) Oh my God! I’m so jealous.
(Josie calling her mom)
JOSIE: My (blubber) literary agent (blubber) quit (Kleenex nose honk).
JOSIE’S MOM: Okay, calm down.
(Josie emailing trusted critique partners Nicole and Maria)
JOSIE: So, my agent quit agenting, and I’m really upset. Also, super embarrassed, because it was announced all over social media that I signed with her.
NICOLE: That’s so terrible. We should Skype today. When are you free?
SAM: Not cool. Send me your contract ASAP.
(Josie out for coffee with non-author friend Carla)
JOSIE: My book got longlisted for two book awards.
CARLA: What’s (face screwing up) longlisted?
(After five minutes of explaining to Carla how it really is an honor just to be freaking nominated…)
CARLA: Oh, congratulations.
(Josie WhatsApp-ing with critique partner Maria)
MARIA: Congratulations! You can totally add this to your query letters. When can you announce that you made the longlists? When do the shortlists come out?
I compiled this post for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To continue hopping through more amazing blogs, or to join the hop, click here. (There are more than 200 of us, and it’s fun!)
Where do you seek refuge when you’re on a particularly low rung of your author journey? Chat with me in the comments.