Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yes, I'm jealous of Frankie.

How many of you wondered if I was secretly bitter about Frankie getting an agent first? I won't think any less of you, because I would've wondered the same thing. We're writers, or at least we've all read enough novels to imagine the mean little thoughts behind someone's smile and enthused "Congratulations!"

Or is that just me, picturing the dark side of people's nature? Oops.

Anyway, I wanted to tackle your unasked question head-on: The vast, vast, vast majority of me was absolutely hopping with joy over Frankie's news. Honestly!

But a tiny percentage was, in fact, jealous.

[Found this on Google image search. Am in love. Anyone know who it's by?]

There, I said it. But Frankie knew first.

Every time she told me an agent requested her full (ahem, eight times), I shrieked so loud that only dogs could hear. But yes, it stung a tiny bit because hey, I wanted that, and she had it. And in between incoherent squees, I told her I envied her. And heck, that was before her first (of three) offers.

Frankie could've freaked out, but she knew what I meant. We're both super-motivated, competitive overachievers, so me admitting I'm jealous was like, a compliment of the highest order, especially since I knew exactly how much she'd sacrificed to get to that point

Plus, happiness wiggled through me so enthusiastically that I couldn't sit still, and I boasted to everyone how MY critique partner HAS AN AGENT! And a super-agent at that. That's a holy cow moment.

Paragraph of cheese: The FNC has worked so hard on each other's novels that they've become surrogate novel babies, and we only want the best for them. And Frankie's victory became a group victory, too. That unwavering support is the benefit of our friendship.

Anyway, I bared my soul with this post because jealousy can be a nasty little bugger. It pulls your insecurities front and center, shines a spotlight on them, and says, "Here's where you're lacking." It highlights fear, doubt, and maybe even a little self-loathing.

But it doesn't have to.

Frankie being agented -- being pulled from Laura Rennert's slush pile -- has motivated me beyond belief. She queried first, and with great success, so now I get to tackle the process with a sliver more hope. Instead of my jealousy damaging our relationship, it's made it stronger.

Oh crap, I forgot to warn you that that paragraph was going to be cheesy. Forgive me?

I figured it was worthy of mentioning because there's such a large, friendly group of aspiring writers in the blogosphere, and as much as we cheer each other on (yay!), no one should be ashamed of that tiny (and sometimes not-so-tiny) twinge of envy. Denying it causes drama, and no one needs more drama.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a scene from the ever-so-relevant Friends, in which single ladies Rachel and Phoebe discuss Monica and Chandler's impending engagement. Thank me in the comments, because it's hilarious and oh-so-true.

Rachel: I’m so happy for them!
Phoebe: Me too! So happy for them!
Rachel: I’m so happy and not at all jealous.
Phoebe: Oh no! No God, definitely not jealous!
Rachel: I mean I’m probably 98% happy, maybe 2% jealous. And I mean what’s 2%? That’s nothing.
Phoebe: Totally. I’m like 90/10.
Rachel: Yeah me too.
Rachel: We’re gonna find love!
Phoebe: Definitely!
Rachel: Yeah, I’m pretty confident about that. That’s what makes it so easy for me to be 80% happy for Monica and Chandler!


  1. LMAO--I love Friends quotes.

    It's great that Frankie's success made you want to work harder--that's exactly what it did for me, too. :) We're allowed to be a little jealous, it's just human nature. (CHEESE ALERT) But if we turn it into something positive, then it's okay. *grin*

  2. Thank you so much for this post! Seriously.

    When I hear of someone getting a hot agent or a multi-book deal, I am SO happy for them (unless they're Tyra Banks), but I'm also a little jealous. This makes me feel guilty and then I assume I'm a bad person.

    It's reassuring that I'm not alone out there!!

    (It also makes me want to work harder too!)

  3. Jealousy can be a bit of a bugger, can't it? But when you throw your support behind the object of your envy and even if you tell them, it can like... evaporate. Which is the BEST feeling in the world. Great post, and that conversation at the end was fantastic. :D

  4. Great post (and great Friends quote!). I'll admit to a little twinge of jealousy when I see other writers getting agents and book deals, but I think it tends to be the "motivating" jealousy rather than the hostile jealousy, kwim? Like, "Man, I want that too... good for you, now I'd better get back to my WIP."

  5. Love this post. I totally know the feeling. Seems like everyone is getting agents these days. I'm so ready for it to be my turn!

    Still, Super Congrats to Frankie~!

  6. Aw, don't be sad! You'll get an agent soon, but I think it's unlikely that I, a 13 year old, will find an agent. Haha, see I can be more jealous!

  7. Good for you for using envy as a motivator and for the openness and support of your CPs. You girls have got it good!

  8. Mireyah -- Yayyy Friends! I agree, there's no denying human nature. It's what you do with those feelings that matters.

    Jade -- You're welcome! That's exactly why I wrote this post. Glad it helped!

    Bethany -- Ummm... can I quote you? "But when you throw your support behind the object of your envy and even if you tell them, it can like... evaporate. Which is the BEST feeling in the world." That's EXACTLY what I meant!

    Guinevere -- Definitely motivating jealousy here!

    Marybeth -- Yep, my little twinge of envy didn't at all hamper the obnoxiously exubert joy I felt for Frankie.

    Kirthi -- Considering I didn't know agents existed til I was in college, I'd say you're ahead of the game!

    Caroline -- I was hoping my open-book-ness wasn't going to backfire on me with this one, so I'm so glad you guys understand! I love my FNC ladies!!!

  9. Ha! Good on you for admitting it, good lady. I love hearing about my bloggie-friends' successes. And since most of them write YA, and I write adult, jealousy isn't an issue, so much.

    What I *am* a bit jealous of? That everyone else is so far ahead of me. I wish I'd started earlier. *sigh* I'm a bit impatient... can you tell?

    But, yay for Frankie, and yay you! Your time's coming soon, for sure. :)

  10. This was great to read!! And I *cough cough* kinda need it today!! sigh

  11. Im sooooo grateful for the relationship we have --its the openness and honesty that makes it work! Plus you're pretty cool;)

  12. Bravo for being so brave, Donna!

    It's hard not to get jealous of your friends when they're having success in something you want, but you're right, it's natural and what matters is how you deal with it. I don't watch Friends but I love that snippet at the end of the post :D

  13. Great post Donna. Thanks for putting yourself out there--over the last couple months, I've had similar thoughts/feelings, and you have articulated those conflicted feelings that have been buzzing around inside me.

    And I just love what Caroline said in her comment--we *have* got it good!

  14. Simon -- I've found that there's ALWAYS something to be jealous of. The buff guy always wishes he were smart enough for college, and the nerdy guy with the full scholarship just wants to be buff. See how I made a guy example for you? teehee

    Christina Lee -- Glad I could help!

    Frankie -- I'm so beyond "pretty cool" :-P Love you!!!! And thanks for not hating me for making you the object of my post.

    Pirate Penguin -- Thanks! And please please go start watching Friends!

    Janine -- Awww yeah, I love our group!!!

  15. Right now I'm pretty much in full-on "happy for you" mode since I'm not in a query frame of mind yet. But I'm really competitive so I know when I get close to querying I'll start to get really jealous to make up for now. Like once my roommate and I were both trying to lose some weight, and I used to suggest we go out for ice cream or get other treats to encourage her to cheat on days I knew her class schedule was too busy to make it to the gym, then I would work out extra hard so I could "win." I was so evil.

  16. Awww, Donna. Don't worry. You're an excellent writer, as this blog attests, AND you're determined. You WILL get there.

    You're far ahead of me (and, apparently, Simon). I could be jealous of YOU. For instance, you've finished your novel. And I'm still at 22K words. You've started querying agents, and I'm nowhere near that point. So, it's all relative. Like Simon Says (heh heh), I'm jealous that I didn't start sooner. Like when I was *coughcough* under 50.

    And Frankie's lucky to have you for a friend and crit partner.

  17. oh darling i know the feeling lol!!! ~janet (aka the older sister whose little sister is getting married first...grrr!)


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