Friday 19 June 2015

An embarrassing admission

As every blogger knows, the Kidspot Voices of 2015 were announced last weekend. I can honestly say I was genuinely happy for the people on the list, especially those I read and know. I had not the slightest envy of them nor sour grapes I missed out. However, this is not a post on what a generous spirit I am (because who would want to read that?!). It does highlight the perplexing nature of what happened next.

I also want to add, that I regularly alert other writers to story competitions I'm in, because if my story isn't good enough, I'd love it if the prize went to someone I know. So I'm not the sort of person who can't celebrate another's success.

I am slightly uncomfortable with what I'm about to share, that I may take the post down soon after publishing. It's makes me cringe a little. Quite a lot, actually.

Well over a year ago, the lovely Zanni mentioned she'd signed a book deal with Little Hare. I was overjoyed for her as Little Hare are a BIG deal publisher. I was so excited to see things happening for people I know, which makes what happened next all the more curious for me.

On the same day I saw the photo of Zanni holding her newly published children's book (which I was so excited to see, as I felt we'd been on the journey with her), I discovered a person I was at Uni with had just published his THIRD book. I'd happily congratulated him, genuinely excited for his success. But half an hour later, I was suddenly struck with a horrible, sulking feeling. Am I the only person in the world who hasn't got a book published? (I know a few other authors, one of whom is embarrassed by one of her series but keeps writing them because the publisher keeps asking her to do another one - so she's successfully writing books she doesn't even like).

I want to clarify, I wasn't begrudging them their success, but it made me feel like a failure. A complete loser who couldn't get published. Not so much sour grapes as a self indulgent pity party. Like a spoilt, sulky toddler who I would admonish without a second thought.

Now here's the funny part. I haven't actually WRITTEN a book. It's not that the book I've written got rejected.  I have nothing to publish. I have just sat on my arse and done nothing with the idea I had over three years ago. Not even opened a new folder and given it a name. ZIP.

So you can see why the emotion is embarrassing, and something I'm not that proud of, fleeting though it was. We humans are such a mass of irrationality, some more than others.

Thankfully, I began to see the funny side of it, and shortly after the initial wave of emotion, I was back to normal.

I am reminded of the quote I used in a similar situation when my ego and vanity expanded to ludicrous proportions:

The only cure for vanity is laughter, and the only fault that's laughable is vanity. - Henri Bergson

So to make a positive out of this foible, I'm adding it to the list:

Torshlusspanik List:

1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)

17. Astonish Myself
18. Write a book*.

*I actually did write a children's book for a competition, just for the exercise of it, and got really great feedback on it, as I'd written it in rhyme and they'd loved the rhythm, so I took it as a win, even though I didn't come close to winning the competition. However, I think I'd rather start fresh than rework that it counts on the list as a new challenge.

Linking with #TIK because I know this was stupid and glad it was momentary; and #WWU


  1. I think anybody who enjoys writing has these feelings of inadequacy and irrational jealousy from time to time. Writing my blog makes me feel like I'm still a kid singing ABBA songs into a hair brush. Especially amongst all these talented and articulate people including yourself. You've had stories published, you're miles ahead of me. Keep doing what you're doing. You'll get there. xo

  2. I think your thoughts are perfectly normal. I love your list. Would love to see your children's book.

  3. Plenty off stuff ticked off your list. Funny how these things can get the better of us, no matter who we are.

  4. I can't totally relate to this - I always think the same and then kick myself because I haven't even tried to write one, it's on my to-do - maybe once my three are older! x

  5. Those emotions you felt - I think we all have moments like that even if we realise it's silly later. All perfectly normal ;-)

  6. Oh you are funny ... Aspiring authors ( like myself) love when other unknowns succeed but of course... You must put yourself out there too.. Lol

  7. You should be so proud of the things you have achieved. I bet those published authors haven't done half the things you have done :)
    They say comparison is the thief of joy xx

    I was a little excited for Zanni though. How cool?!

  8. Honest posts are my favourite to read!! You have reminded me - I need to start writing my idea too! :)

  9. I think we all have moments like that.

  10. I can absolutely relate and I'm not a writer. I get jealous over things I consider to be silly in hindsight. x