There was recently an article in my local free paper—the Hamptons rag that lets all us mundane folk know exactly how well the local celebrities are doing—entitled ‘Celebrity Troubles: There’s Always Somebody Out There Doing Better Than You.’ It recounts how Jay-Z and Beyonce bought their 26M dollar home on Georgica Pond, an address inhabited by the likes of Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, and Ron Perelman of Revlon fame, only to find that someone was applying to build on their next-door vacant land and will block their ocean view. The article went on to mention that Billy Joel, when told he had more platinum albums than anyone else, moaned that Garth Brooks was about to pass him. As I write this, the Oscars are on tonight and there’ll be all sorts of ‘also-rans’ for the history books, loads of hands that will go away empty.
I recently did a pitch-fest on-line along with a friend; she received a request to query and I didn’t. Of course, I had to ask myself why her, not me. We didn’t even pitch similar stories—hers is a romance, mine is women’s lit. set in the 1970s—nor did we even pitch to the same editors. And I’m not jealous in the usual sense of the word; I definitely wish her well, hope her query leads to a contract. More, it is a kind of disappointment in myself.
But I guess as the writer in the local rag says, there’s always someone out there doing better. It’s good to remember that, that is the way it will always be. So next time a fellow author gets that three book contract with one of the big six, or one thousand five star reviews on Amazon, or even a thousand more likes than you have, remember that it’s never going to change. There’s always going to be someone out there doing better . . .
Hmmm. I wonder what JK Rowling is feeling now?