Today we welcome Regina Sirois! She is the sweetest person you'll ever meet! She was the 2012 winner of Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award; ON LITTLE WINGS
Enjoy the post today!
Remember when you watched your parents buy your sibling a chocolate chip ice cream cone and you pondered if that was somehow superior to your scoop of chocolate fudge?
You waffled between being certain fudge trumps chips and the fear that mom and dad were sending a subliminal message that your sibling is a "chip off the old block" and you're just a block of fudge.
There is some deep-seated paranoia that life is a zero sum game.
And then some of us are masochistic enough to jump into the impossible... I mean competitive... world of writing and publishing.
And we find out that same fear has been biding it's time since we were six, rubbing it's knuckles and waiting for us to show up again and take a beating.
Because you rip out your soul and expose your vulnerabilities... I mean you write a story... and you throw it out into the world and inevitably, it sinks like a brick. You see these little bubbles rise to the surface and it feels like some piece of you that is running out of air all alone in the blackness, and all you want is some sign that it is going to be okay.
Going to live.
Usually about this time of despair you get an email that a fellow writer tripped over an agent on the street and fell flat onto the NYT bestsellers list.
And you get that old feeling that you are holding a vanilla ice cream cone that didn't get any sprinkles.
Just to make it worse, the good news usually multiplies and comes pouring in from every corner, a veritable flood of giddy happiness. Every pursuit of every person around you is roaring to success. Unfortunately, the more hot fudge and chocolate chips they get the smaller you feel and the more you think the universe is laughing at your sad little cone, telling you that somehow you didn't deserve what the people around you got.
And that monster with green eyes slinks up behind you and taps you on the shoulder and you wish it was Godzilla because you'd rather get your head bitten off than be a horrible person, but no such luck. It's plain old, ugly jealousy.
So what do you do now?
I discovered my coping mechanism back in the days of my worst failures.
You smile even if it's a grimace and you uncurl your hooked hands and force them to write something gracious and kind.
You join the celebration.
Then something magical happens.
Only after you overcome that horrible feeling that praising another person will diminish you do you understand that writing is not zero sum. Success is not zero sum.
Life is not an ice cream cone.
Or if it is, it is a giant sundae and we can all tackle it happily together.
Kindness is the the only endeavor that God says will never fail. So you want a surefire success? Be nice. Be generous. Be kind.
Celebrate even when your bubbles are rising to the surface.
And maybe, just maybe, if your story dies, you'll walk away with something better. You'll succeed at being a better person.
And everyone knows that the world needs good people infinitely more than it needs good authors.
But just as an observation, if we are patient and work hard, many of us will get to be a little bit of both.
And that is just the cherry on top.
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