Friday, February 17, 2012

Feeling the Funk

So, Valentine's Day was this week, and ...

... well, moving on.

Let's face it. There are times you feel considerably less than awesome. This isn't a pity-party—not a full-blown one, anyway—but it's an acknowledgement of these feelings. They're real, and they're not fun. But acknowledging their reality (without going overboard) often helps me move on.

People talk about surrounding yourself with greatness. There are many benefits to this, but there's at least one glaring downside. When you're surrounded by the super-awesome, you really start to notice the ways you're not-quite-so-awesome.

Then there's the even more awkward position: When those looking up to your super-awesome friends assume you're one of them.

"No, really, I'm just another wannabe trying to slog it out like you guys."

But wait, I can't say that. I'll sound like a jerk to people who are struggling even more than I am. So I'll just smile and play along.

And then I feel like a fraud, too.


So, here's the thing. I can dwell on this "I'm not as cool as my friends" feeling, but I prefer the other option.

I can work my butt off until I reach their level of awesome. Maybe I won't get there, but even just by trying, surely I'll get closer. And improvement's always a good thing.


Mindy McGinnis said...

You are just as awesome as me (she says, with no trace of egotism). I'm just waiting for the publishing world to figure that out too. :)

MarcyKate said...

I second what Mindy said. You're awesome, publishing is just notoriously slow :P

I'm really glad you posted this. I feel the same way a lot of the time. It's hard when your friends move up a step and you get left behind (figuratively speaking, of course).

The flip side you mention about others thinking you're more "successful" than they are, is almost worse. Other people have these expectations of you that you're not up to yet even though you're trying, so you end up feeling like you're not just letting yourself down if you don't get pubbed or agented or whatever quickly. Or that could just be me :P

I beta read for a new crit partner a couple weeks ago and when she sent me her ms, she mentioned she was "starstruck" that I wanted to read her book. We met through the contests I entered over the summer, so she's seen my book getting attention. But what she hadn't seen was the other side - the crushing rejections that followed after. Other people got offers through those same contests (one of whom I went to high school with and snagged my dream agent - go figure!), I didn't.

Long story short (too late, I know!) it was rather awkward to explain that, um, yeah I'm probably not as awesome as you think I am, but thanks! 0.o

R.C. Lewis said...

Aw, thanks, Mindy. :)

MK, exactly! The feeling is very, "I'm not a superhero, I just play one on TV."

Rick Pieters said...

No matter what we do, at just about every level, we get hit with hope-they-don't-all-see-I'm-totally-fakin'-it. (Wonder if McCarthy, Chabon, Franzen ever do?) It blows. Then, should success hit, it's not only fakin' it, but never being able to fake it as well again.

Not to revel in your funk, but thanks for voicing it. I bet more folks than not share in it. In good company.

And BTW, you rock.

Tracy N. Jorgensen said...

There is no one more awesome than you. No one. Don't give in to doubt okay? You are my superhero. No TV involved!

R.C. Lewis said...

Rick, I guess it's like they say--gotta fake it 'til you make it. :)

Tracy, I won't give in to doubt, I promise. I've already gotten myself back in the trenches. ;)

Tyson said...

I think you're amazing. And I think you're measuring your awesomeness wrong. Awesomeness isn't a publishing contract. You're a numbers freak, something I will never be able to do. Your job is amazing. You have talent. And crazy cat-like eyes.

Awesomeness isn't the amount of money you have, validation from a publisher or agent, fame, or anything of the sort.

Awesomeness is your character. Your spirit. And you have it in spades.

R.C. Lewis said...

Thanks, T. :)