You did it! You worked, reading and writing just like your high school teacher, and of course, Stephen King told you to and finally it pays off. You can officially call yourself a published author. As most writers do, you’ve probably surrounded yourself with a few writing friends and then there are those family members with whom you’ve shared your dream. You get the call from your agent or publisher and the hallelujah chorus sounds in the heavens!
Finally, you have the validation you’ve been longing for. All the hours you spent working on your craft were not a waste of time. But how will others react? Especially those who have been right there with you, those who have been working just as hard, are just as talented, and want it just as much.
I can’t speak for everyone’s experience, but as for my own, I’m blessed with friends and fellow writers who have been nothing but thrilled and supportive. Writers are a special breed of people. Because we all go through the same doubts and the same struggles, when one of us succeeds, we all do. And the reality is, without our support system — our cheerleaders and beta readers and the people who won’t let us give up, none of us would succeed. And it’s never a matter of if those writers in our group succeed. We know it’s a matter of when. We are walking the same path and as with anything in life, some of us arrive at our destination first. But if we stay on the path and do what writers do — work — we’ll get there.
I’d love to say that everyone will be happy for you when you achieve your dream — whether it’s being published or graduating school or making it on American Idol. But the reality is there are those in the world who never chased their dreams. People who, for whatever reason, never got on the path to their desired destination. Maybe they grew up in environments where they were taught not to dream, not to believe in themselves. If there are those who won’t be happy about your success, it will most likely be these people.
Just as I am humbled by those who share in our joys, I am equally humbled by those who don’t. I have friends and family who have supported me, who never told me I couldn’t succeed if I worked hard enough. Some people have never had that support system and for them, it’s difficult to take joy in a success that they will never know.
Okay, honesty time. Does it bother me when I post something about my debut novel and certain relatives don’t hit the ‘like’ button? A little bit. Are there always going to be people out there who won’t care how hard you worked or for how many years you struggled to succeed? Yep.
But you know your worth. You know how hard you worked, how long your strived. You know that any success you have, was well earned and fought for. Focus on the well-wishers. Focus on those who jumped up and down and squealed when you told them your good news. And don’t forget to do the same for them when they tell you theirs. And cheers to all the dream chasers!