As aspiring authors, we often measure the quality of our own work against the success of others. We see an amazing query, read a kick-ass first sentence for a CP, watch a writing friend get a request, then an offer, see a book out on submission and sold before ours, and we find ourselves flying into a tailspin, questioning our own worth. It happens to all of us, regardless of where you are in the writing journey. As generous and giving as we are to each other, there will come a time when you find yourself chocking over a heartfelt and well-deserved congratulations to a fellow author.
The question is, where do you go from there?
I go dark, both in my writing and in my virtual presence. I take a step back form my WIP's, my beta reading, even my revisions and re-group, force myself to remember why I got into this whole writing business. I trust my a co-author to keep me on task, make sure our revisions are stellar and turned in on time, then I open up a new doc. and go back to my first love -- YA Contemporary. I take all that raw emotion and pour it into a set of characters that are truely nothing more than an emotional extension of me.
So that said, I'm going to go dark for a bit, refuel my muse and recharge my mind. I am going to write something completely off the wall and totally for me. I'll lurk, leave comments, and be here for those of you who need a cheerleader . . . and yes, even a honest "congratulations." Then come next Friday, when my kids are finally out of school, I am going to pack the kids into the car and drive. Take a nice long road trip with no destination in mind, just clear, open spaces for me to think. I have three weeks before summer activities kick into gear. That's a lot of time, plenty of drive-thrus, and a massive amount of roads to travel.
Either that or I could channel all my nervous energy into my garden, perhaps grow the world's largest gourd!