Monday, January 31, 2011

Outside Looking In

Have you ever felt like this?


And on the other side of that window, there's a serious party raging. Lots of people you know. You read their blogs. You follow them on twitter.

And they all got the party invite, and you didn't.

You're on the outside, looking in.

I've been feeling this way a bit lately. And I know it's ridiculous, because I do have a party I'm attending. Sometimes I feel like the door is revolving though. And people are coming and going and coming and going, and I'm always just there. Stuck.

I don't like feeling like I've missed the best party. I don't like feeling on the outside. And I know that I'm involved in some things that might make you feel left out. And some of you are involved in things I'm not. We can't be everywhere, do everything, with everyone.

But we can make sure that we don't act exclusive. So that's my new goal. If someone tweets me, I'm going to tweet them back. I don't want anyone to feel like they're on the outside, looking in.

Have you ever felt like this? What did you do about it?


Oh! And the League writers are having a party all week long on the Page Turners blog--and you're invited! Click here to join us.

116 comments:

Amie Kaufman said...

I've totally felt like this--it seemed as though all these people were out there in these fabulous group blogs, like all the most successful bloggers were also CPs for each other, running competitions (and dare I say conferences?) together, and I kept thinking 'how did they all get into that? How (of course) do *I* get into that?'. As for what I did about it, well, I'll have to let you know how it goes! But I've been getting talking to some of my regular commenters, beginning to get to know people, and I can see that it's going to lead all sorts of fun places. I guess in the end, you can whine about having no shoes to wear, or you can go dancing in your bare feet and have fun anyway. I'm going to make my own fun!

Sarah said...

Elana, this is such a nice post. I've actually been surprised at how generous and responsive established bloggers and authors have been as I've join the social networking world. You're right--no one can be involved in everything or BFFs with everyone. But I've found that if I reach out (beyond the wall of shyness that's held me back so often) instead of just hoping someone will notice me standing here in cyberspace, I often get a really nice response.

Guinevere said...

Aw, what a sweet post, and something I was really glad to read this morning. I feel exactly that way, oftentimes, as an unpub'd author and just as a bit of an introvert by nature - like everyone else is in the cool kids' club of writing and I'm just sort of... well, hanging out and reading my novel in the corner like I often did as a kid. :p

I'm trying to reach out more, in a way that's natural for me - but it's a comfort to hear that other people sometimes feel left out too.

Vicki Rocho said...

Yup, haven't we all felt like that at some point or another? I think mine is self-inflicted though. Either I held myself back so they didn't know I wanted an invite or it's a grass is greener kind of thing, and I'm not giving my own party enough credit.

Theresa Milstein said...

I feel like this all the time. Being a daily sub always made me feel like an outsider. Now that my ETS has only a month to go, I really feel like an outsider.

Writing front is the same. People have agents, publishing contracts, books on the shelves. People belong to these writing groups that make these cool videos...

What do I do about it? I don't know. I keep trying to do my best job in teaching and writing. And I hope when I'm on the outside looking in, I can pull a few people there with me.

Buffy Andrews said...

If I had a party, everyone would be invited. Just come on in girlfriend. Have a great week, Elana.

Renae said...

What a great post, I feel like this quite often. I deal by working even harder on my current ms, molding it into the best possible shape it can be in.

Natalie Aguirre said...

This is a great post. I feel like that a lot. I don't have a blog so I can't even be invited to do things. And I wonder how many people I comment on blogs will even visit mine.

I feel like that in life too sometime. I have to give up calling friends, family, and doing social things to write. One of the reasons I like you so much is because I don't feel you're like that.

Kelly Bryson said...

I've found some crit partners online by speaking up. I've gotten past the "this person seems fun and I wonder if we could be friends" point by making myself very uncomfortable.

I met some of my best blog friends/cps by posting a blurb about my book in a comment thread like this on Kiersten White's blog and asking if anybody was interested in trading manuscripts. Nobody wants to be scary/too open but a little bit of being scared means you've opened yourself to rejection. Which means you're putting yourself out there.

I wouldn't expect the first five people you meet to be your instant besties, either. It's a lot like dating, need to meet lots of people.

Elana- I think you do a good job being inclusive. Thanks for bringing the topic up.

Christine Danek said...

Are you reading my mind? I totally feel like this sometimes. I try not to let it get to me because it only makes me feel horrible and puts me in a funk. It's not easy though.
Have a great day!

IanBontems said...

I can really relate to this - I'm new to the world of writing but this feeling is pretty common for me - maybe it's my outlook.

It's a great post, Elana, but honestly? I've never thought that you act exclusive. Never. You were one of the first to follow my little blog and gave me encouragement before I knew what on earth I was doing (mind you, some would say I still don't).

Besides, with 1788 followers I think it's clear - the party is right here.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Yay, I'm not alone if the comments are to go by. There're a lot of people looking in, so what the hell are we looking at with so many people on the outside? ;)

Hannah Kincade said...

I've had mad bouts if this my entire life. Although, since I've joined the blogging verse and met so many great writers (like yourself) I don't feel so alone in the writing thing. Hang in there! It will pass.

Tracey Neithercott said...

Yes, all the time. Being new to the blogging/tweeting side of writing will definitely make you feel like that. I do understand that building friendships that way takes time and the people you see interacting with each other all the time have gotten to that point after years of not feeling like they belonged.

Also, as everyone else has said, I was surprised how some of the more "popular" or "bigger" writers were so kind to someone new like myself. You and Shannon Whitney Messenger in particular shocked me with how welcoming you are!

Michelle McLean said...

as an author pubbed in NF when 99.9% of the people I know and associate with are getting pubbed in Fiction....I feel like this A LOT. I tend to hide until I get over it and then I get back to life or I just put my head down and work harder on my own projects :) No point in spending time gazing at someone else when my time can be better spent creating a party of my own :D Besides, chances are they sent me an invitation, I was just too busy staring into their window to check my mailbox ;-D

Lindsay said...

Awesome post. I feel like this sometimes too. It's hard when you feel like the one sat in the corner watching everything happen around you. Thank goodness for the blogging/writing community. I think you do a great job being inclusive. :)

Shrinky said...

I've never been a huge fan of parties, they are not always all the fun they promise to be, anyway (wink)..

Angela Felsted said...

What a great goal!

Henya said...

Elana, I make it a point to tweet other bloggers post 75% of the time, and tweet my posts the remaining 25%.

Your post reminds me of a gripe I have with a family member that never responded with any acknowledgement to a gift I gave her the other day.

Inclusive just makes sense. And thanks for bringing this out. Relationships are not a one way street...after all.

Kelly Bryson said...

Hey Elana- this post prompted me to open comments on my blog for people that are looking for crit partners/beta readers. I hope lots of people come over and tell us what they're writing and find some new friends! Thanks!

http://bookreadress.blogspot.com/2011/01/welcome-to-next-level.html

Kelly said...

Yeah, I've definitely felt that way. (and am a little surprised that you have too)
I'm intimidated by certain authors, wondering if I should comment, or tweet at them...
Also, my today's post mentions fellow bloggers and I feel so bad about people I didn't mention. I just hope I don't make someone feel bad by not mentioning them, but it's impossible to include everyone in everything.

storyqueen said...

Yeah....outside looking in....I feel like this all the time.

Maybe that's part of being a writer. There is that strange do-I-even-belong feeling that comes upon us often.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

I think we all feel like that at times. I envision relationships as interlocking circles (like the Olymic symbol). We are all conected but different circles of peeps, sometimes hanging with one group, sometimes another. Ya know?

I put myself in others shoes, answer everyone who is kind enough to reach out to me (I'm sure could get tricky with a big following), and just to the best you can :)

You do a GREAT job Elana, don't get down on yourself. Your thoughtfullness is appreciated!

Thank you Kelly Bryson for that great idea!

lynnrush said...

Great post. Yep, that happens sometimes. That stinker, doubt, trickles in and tries to reek havoc. I usually just step back a bit and remember, everyone's journey is different. I'm right where I need to be for now.

I'm not saying it works all the time...but eventually it sinks in and I calm down a bit. :)

Thanks for this post. Have a great day!

E.J. Wesley said...

I think it's so very easy to feel that way in the writing/blogging community. Kind of like the whole crazy thing is moving at a pace you could never hang with, nor be included in. Furthermore, it seems that lots of folks try their damnedest to be included when it isn't really even clear what's going on to be included in.

My solution? Always make it a party of one. Meaning, when I go to a real party, if I'm not feeling included, I try to create my own fun. I find like-minded people to talk to. I look for the oddballs that also look like they're having a less-than-great time and strike up a conversation.

I think that's so very important to do when it comes to writing/blogging. Understand that you may be part of a larger group, but also realize you may or may not be included at times. Never be afraid to do your own thing. It's more fulfilling and a hell of a lot more fun.

EJ

Bish Denham said...

Do I have to be honest? Sure. I've felt that way most of life, being a loner. But I've learned to make my own party and am always delighted, amazed by who shows up.

Danyelle said...

*hugs*

Yes, have definitely felt this way. Sometimes it's message boards, a lot of the time it's Twitter. I've noticed that sometimes people only Tweet back to their own circle of friends. I don't expect personal attention, per se, and even a blanket, Thanks everyone! is good. But if I find that people continue to ignore me, I remind myself that they're probably very busy and unfollow them so that I can focus on building friendships with people who are interested.

Same thing with message boards. It's hard sometimes to keep throwing yourself out there and people reply, but tend to skip over you and the other new people. I had to change my perspective and look at a particular message board as more of a place to go for information than for interaction. It's helped looking at it that way. :)

Heather Hellmann said...

Yes, I do feel that way sometimes. This is mainly because I just started blogging. I know it will get better, and I am grateful for the kindness and support I have received so far.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Hi. I feel that way ALL THE TIME! But it's really just a matter of perspective. I look at is as my mind telling me I need to get out there and live more. I have been working on that majorly.

Although, there are those people who shut themselves away and resent the people who go to "parties". I used to do that, when I was a freshman and sophomore in high school. Then I started speaking up in class and people saw that I had something to say so they started to talk to me in the hallways, in the lunchroom, and around town. It took that one little decision to bring on so many opportunities. I love how it works like that.

If you ever see me partying and I forgot to invite you, or was to scared to, come crash it!

Melissa Sarno said...

Ha, I've felt like this my entire life! Actually, I wrote a blog post about something a lot like this yesterday, but it's scheduled for Friday. I always feel I'm stuck on the outside of where I'm supposed to be or want to be, never feeling like I'm part of the right group. I think your goal is a good one. Plan your own party. You know we all love you. Once we get the invite, we'll show up, right away :-)

Rebecca T. said...

Yes. Definitely yes. I love being a part of the writing community and I love reading all the advice and help and hopping around to blogs, but for so long (and still now) I have been the non-"serious" writer - I write, but am not anywhere near ready to write a query letter/look for an agent/etc. Even though I know it's something I want to do some day. But I often feel like the odd man out.

Liza said...

I pretty much always feel that way, but know that I have to create my own party. When I'm ready, I'll address the invitations.

Little Ms J said...

I can't believe you wrote this post. I was just sitting here reading blogs, watching your dancing video and feeling sorry for myself. I feel like everyone graduated high school and I'm still a Junior. I literally just said, in my head, "I want to be part of the party." It is good motivation, granted, but for me it also is a wake up call that you guys are doing it while I'm still talking about it.

Sorry for the nose grease on the glass.

:-)

VR Barkowski said...

What a wonderful, provocative post. We've all experienced this, although I think in learning to love and respect ourselves, those feelings are diminished somewhat - not that I've achieved this lofty height, it's only a theory.

Feeling on the outside is a difficult thing. The natural tendency is to beat up on ourselves for not being good enough, and that even worse than blaming the "cool kids."

Stephanie McGee said...

All the time. It's my constant companion.

WindyA said...

What a thought-provoking post. I think we've all found ourselves on one side or the other of this window. Most of the time it's something we've done unintentionally. Sometimes it's just us being self-conscious. But what it comes down to is just being aware of ourselves and our actions. Some things we do / say can have ramifications that we are not aware of, so just thinking through things before we act can make a world of difference.

Christina Lee said...

Well, as a matter of fact I AM jealous of things you're involved in (you super woman) and I feel like this every single day on Twitter.

SO thank you for not making me feel strange, and I've made the same promise to myself!

((hugs))

Candyland said...

I live my whole life on the outside. Especially with Twitter. I hate Twitter. It always feels like high school and I didn't fit in there, so yeah.

Christine Fonseca said...

Dude! I LIVE this feeling - always on the outside, never quite fast enough, good, enough. Just not...enough.

Hugs

lexcade said...

that's pretty much been my entire life one way or another. never really belonging anywhere, and declaring my desire to write for a living has only made me feel more ostracized than i already did. if it weren't for the internet and sites like Twitter and QT, i probably wouldn't talk to anybody at all, but even then i kinda feel like i'm crashing someone else's party sometimes. especially with people who seem to know each other really well.

glad to know that i'm not the only who feels like this. thanks for the post, elana :) you seem to know what to say at the right times.

Francesca said...

I truly love this, in a true, honest stomach-love kind of way.

I often feel like this - and one of the ways that makes me feel most like this most quickly is when someone doesn't respond to a tweet, so I love that you're taking the step to respond - or at least, to try. I wonder how quickly it could get overwhelming. This is what I tell myself when someone doesn't reply, that they're probably very busy and important and have no time for plebs like me.

But still makes me feel like I couldn't make it past the velvet rope.

So thank you for sharing this and for encouraging others to feel invited in. Truly.

Michelle Merrill said...

Yeah, I definitely have my fingers pressed to the window at times. Usually I avoid getting too close so I won't be sucked into watching someone else's party. I just turn around and start my own :)

Thanks for responding to my email the other day. Sometimes I feel on the outside with writing because this is one window I am determined to smash through!

You rock. Just sayin'.

Emy Shin said...

Love this post. I've felt this way many times before, and thought that it'd fade with time as I find my niche online. It doesn't.

Personally, I think you're one of the best examples of wonderful bloggers who're so kind and inclusive. I love reading your blog, and always do a little inner dance when you comment on mine. :)

Sara B. Larson said...

Christine I could have written your response word for word. Never fast enough, never enough, yeah. Always feeling two steps behind and left out.

Hugs.

Shari said...

I think there are so many of us on the outside that we should just have our own party.

In answer to your question--I just keep swimming.

Shannon said...

I feel this way all of the time.

I don't twit (can I use that term?) but I do see it with Facebook and blogging. There are quite a few blogs where I comment regularly and the blogger never visits mine and seldom emails me. I just take it for what it's worth - people having their own agenda.

Personally, I go out my way not to leave people out, which is why I don't give out awards and I refuse to list my favorite bloggers. At least with me - everyone is part of the cool kids group. =)

Susanne Winnacker said...

I've felt like this more than once. Most of the time I just shut off the internet for a few hours, take a few deep breaths, let my husband talk some sense into me and then it's okay.
Thanks for this post, Elana. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one feeling that way. :)

Patti said...

I've felt like this a lot, but I always just try to believe that my time will come and if you keep trying to build relationships then a few will eventually stick.

Anne said...

You are SO on the inside. *Checks sitemeter* Yup, you definitely are. :)

But I know what you mean. I live in WI, not Southern Cali or New York. There aren't many book launches or conferences within a 100 mile radius. It really sucks.

dawn-metcalf said...

All the time. All. The. Time.

It's a common theme in my writing and I think we all feel it at one time or another. And I think you're right: the important thing is to *know* that it's a feeling, not necessarily a reality, and that we can all try to act inclusive. Pay It Forward, be welcoming and friendly.

It reminds me of the scene in BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING where even as a grownup the main character thought she couldn't sit with the blond girls at lunch, but then asked if she could sit with them, sat down like it was nothing and joined right in.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I think we should have a party on the street. That way, all those people on the outside looking in, can look around them and realize it's just as fun where they are as it is where they think they want to be.

*Hugs*

Janet Johnson said...

So interesting to hear you feel like that. Ever. I mean, you ARE the party, girl. :)

As for me, sometimes yes, sometimes no. But I think it's a matter of how much of myself I invest. I'm okay looking in sometimes because I don't have enough of me to do what it takes to go in.

lotusgirl said...

I agree with Janet. You are the party. Thanks for inviting us all and making us feel welcome. You're a great hostess.

Larissa said...

Yep. I feel this way almost all the time--but especially in the writing community.

Kelly Lyman said...

Thanks for being honest- you always are and I so appreciate that. I do feel like I'm always on the outside looking in, especially in the writing community. Although, it's not necessarily from what other writers are doing or not doing. I think it stems from my own insecurities--like people are reading my blog and thinking, "what is the world is this chick doing. She's horrible. No talent, etc. She'll never get published or even an agent for that matter. She'll never fit in with us." Nobody has really ever made me feel this way though- I personally don't feel up to par with everyone else, so even though I may be "invited in," I feel like I'm intruding and can't go. I hate being a party crasher.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Sadly, yes. And I think you're right that we all feel that way once in a while. Even Beth Revis did a post about feeling that way! I know in my bone marrow that my book would sell, that kids would like it--after all, we are near experts on our genres because we've read virtually everything that's out there. Yet, I continue to receive rejection after rejection, without a single request for a full. *sigh* Yes, I feel like I'm on the outside looking in sometimes. But people like you keep me positive and hopeful and chugging along. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll probably always feel a bit on the outside as an author, but that's all right. I try to stay in with the blogging world though. Except for the writing ones, I try to do the blogfests, and I pass on the joys of others.

Matthew Rush said...

I have certainly felt that way, but never really among bloggers. I find that you get out of it what you put into it, and if you are kind, thoughtful and giving - or at least really funny, people will reciprocate.

Tara (The Bodacious Pen) said...

It's funny that you posted this, because just yesterday I told my husband that it's time for me to start branching out and talking to new people online. I do sometimes feel like an outsider, especially when it seems like every young adult author seems to know each other!

That said, I feel that a lot of authors are very approachable on Twitter and I don't really think there's a 'we're published & you're not' club.

Serenissima said...

YOU feel that way??!! From my little outpost of the blogosphere, you look like one of the cool kids! But I understand it's all a matter of perspective and I appreciate your honest post. I like all your honest posts, which is why I keep coming back.

Melissa said...

Wow, I would have never guessed you feel this way! You're one of the coolest people I've met since I joined the blogosphere;)

But yeah, I have to admit I feel the same way. A lot. High school was bad enough, but feeling like I'm that uncool girl again is rough sometimes.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

There's always a party going on somewhere that we're not a part of. It's just we're more aware of it because of the Internet and social media. It's just so "in your face," and yeah, some people totally thrive on that ability to show the world they're at the party when 98% of their followers are not. It's human nature, but so HIGH SCHOOL--and frankly, high school was a dark place for me and I'll do anything to keep from going back there. (Well, except with my characters) You can't win them all and be 100% inclusive with every activity you're a part of, but when you are at the party, you can do your best to keep others from feeling left out and forgotten, neglected or overlooked. Twitter can be a tool to inflict subtle pain in an obvious way, but it can also be a great way to reach out to people.

So, yeah, I love this post like times infinity.

Pam Torres said...

Well, I feel great! You and the comments just made the party of I-don't-feel-part-of-the-real-writer's-community incredibly inclusive! I have actually been impressed with how inclusive this community is. (Write On Con, I'm just sayin'.
Seriously though, I believe that what makes me feel on the outside is the fact I don't have anything completed enough to share. I'm sure when I do, I will not feel so left out! Now, let me get back to my writing! (If you weren't so darn inclusive, Elana, I might actually get something done. ;)

Kari Marie said...

As you can see by the volume of comments here you aren't alone! I felt this way when I started blogging, but everyone is so nice and supportive. Sometimes I still feel like I'm on the outside looking in, but then someone drops by my blog and says something lovely or my husband asks me about my writing ( which is new and signifies his acceptance of my new normal).

The best is when I find a heartfelt post like this that totally describes how I feel. Thanks!

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss elana! yikes sooo much people feeling like that. wow you caught me on a surprise cause i couldnt never think of you for being on the outside and looking in. yikes! you got soooo much followers at your party and i love coming cause you get me laughing and thinking. on the blogs i didnt never feel on the outside cause soooo much bloggers said welcome lenny and i get lots of visits. i only did feel it when i was in the hospital soooo much an could wanna be out playing and swimming and having fun but couldnt cause of being sick. now im just always on the inside and im inviting every one at my party specially YOU!
...hugs from lenny

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

I so feel you on this. Though in my case I also add in the worry that the few groups I am a part of will kick me out. So yeah, I get it. And I don't have the answer except like you, to be as reachable and open as possible, and try not to do anything to make anyone feel excluded.

Great post! (and sorry for not blog hopping as much recently. *drowns in responsibilities*)

Lydia K said...

I feel like there are parties within parties. The VIP rooms grow more VI as you go inward.

First, it's writers...then agented writers...then published writers...then successfully published writers...then NYT ranked writers...then long career writers...

Or not. Maybe it's just my imagination.

beth said...

Um. I totally feel like this. All the time. I think it's because I was never in any group in high school.

Stasia said...

So with you on this! And then, sometimes after I've been to a party, I worry that I talk too much and will never be invited again (tend to babble when I'm nervous)! Anyhow, you can come to my party ANY TIME but I'm not gonna tweet you today b/c I think your Twitter feed's gonna be nuts :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

I completely know what you mean. There's so much to do with actual writing (writing, editing, revising, writing the query letter, etc) and then there's social media too (fb, twitter, blogging, etc), it's hard to keep on top of it all.

I try to do my best, every day. That's all I can do. It seems to be working out pretty well so far.

jbchicoine said...

I feel like this most days, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes feeling apart from things helps me get my bearings. I derive a lot of satisfaction from watching, and learning, and reveling in others' accomplishments. If I want in bad enough, I know I'll find the door, but I'm in no hurry to pass through it...I mean, is there any turning back?

Krispy said...

Definitely know what you're talking about here. Of course, sometimes it's just my overactive imagination, but it still feels sucky. The best thing to do, I think, is to try not to let it get you down and to be positive. Then go start your own party. :) Not being exclusive is a part of that.

Nichole Giles said...

Yes. Every day. But rather than let it define me, I learn from it, the way you've mentioned here.

Revolving door? Yep. Know what though? Sometimes, it's good to have a rest from the craziness of the party.

In the cases where nothing can be done about it (for instance, *exclusive groups* that would deny me entry *ahem*) I have to shrug and remind myself that I'm better off NOT being a part of a group that doesn't want me there. I can always, always create my own. And I will include everyone who wants in.

Miriam S. Forster said...

Yes. But then I remind myself that I don't have time to talk to all the great people I know either. And that no matter how included I am, I'll probably always feel this way.

That helps sometimes. :)

Lisa Potts said...

{{{Hugs}}}, Elana.

I feel like this a lot. It's my Charlie Brown Syndrome. It usually happens because I'm shy to a fault, but I'm working on it. Some days it's hard, but worth the effort.

I've met some amazing people by just closing my eyes and jumping in, an I wonder what took me so long in the first place.

P.S. LOVED that dancing on the Bookanista video.

pensees said...

Definitely. We all want to belong and be responded to. Bravo on the declaration of responding to tweets.

When authors respond to readers with a 'thank you' via twitter, it can make the difference between a fan now and a fan forever!

Bethany Mattingly said...

Yes. I try to turn around with everyone I do have a throw a party of our own :) but, make sure to leave the door open.

L.T. Elliot said...

I feel like this from time to time but I notice that during a lot of my times on the outside, I've done a lot of pulling away. I'm not saying you do that--because you're all kind of warm and kind--but I know that I do it. I get scared of people sometimes and letting them in is harder for me.

By the way, you're totally in at the party on my blog today. Thank you for all you do for me, Elana. Love ya.

ali said...

Dude, welcome to my life. Friends are getting contracts. Friends are getting agents. Friends believe in themselves. Friends who have friends I want to be friends with. Friends have it ALL.

But then?

I learn that maybe they don't. That maybe, they feel like me. Sometimes.

How do I get through it? By taking a deep breath (or two or three or a zillion) and reminding myself that I am good enough (thank you Stewart Smalley). That the friends I have are TRUE friends--and even if there aren't a zillion of them, they good and true and they love me. There is no price on that.

I breathe some more.

Then get back to work.

Because in the end, I only have what I'm willing to give--either to friends or to agents or stories or whatever. And bitterness is blech and I don't want to GIVE or RECEIVE any more of that than I've already had in my life.

((Hugs))

Colene Murphy said...

Constantly feel that way. Usually, I have found, it's all in your head. But you're right about not acting exclusive. It is the number one turn off for me with blogs/twitter/etc. I know people are busy, things happen, and postings get over looked but if someone NEVER offers me any sort of acknowledgment, I'm out. So I think acting exclusive hurts yourself more than anyone else. Feels like a snub. And no one likes rudeness! And I REALLY don't think you have ever had that problem!!

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, thanks everyone. I just never know how my posts are going to go over, and you guys are awesome. I'm not going to have a chance to thank everyone via email, but let me say THANK YOU.

I feel validated. And included. :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

You're so classy, E.
xo

Jemi Fraser said...

Yup. I don't get this feeling through blogs or blogging, but I do get it on Twitter at times. There are some chats where I've tried to participate but end up feeling shunned and don't go back. I'll usually try a few times, but it's sometimes a very exclusive little club. So I move on. And life is busy enough I don't get too stressed about it - but I find it uncomfortable at times.

Kara said...

I do get this feeling a lot. I just hope I don't ever make someone else feel that way:( I guess it is bound to happen though.
Good for you for taking the high road:)

June G said...

Nice post. I've thought about this and I've noticed that when chat groups start, they're pretty inclusive, then as they grow in popularity and established people in the field begin to frequent them and participate, people get so caught up in the aura of the "celebrity" they kind of ignore people who aren't published, don't have a agent, a book deal etc.

I guess this is the fruit of a very celebrity driven society. You just have to consider what's really important in life and remember, much of this is the result of the new technology. Back in the day, you would just read a book and drop the author a letter, if you could. There wouldn't be all this jockying for position and status--and knowing immediately who has it--and who doesn't.

Marsha Sigman said...

I think everyone has felt like that at one time or another, I know I have.

I think you are so awesome by the way! I can't imagine leaving you out of anything. Except if I was eating bacon because then it would be MINE and I'm not sharing.lol

Jeff King said...

I haven't felt this way... and I hope I never make anyone else feel this way.
I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I honestly never feel left out, or like I am missing out on something.

I know a lot of people who do feel this way, and I try to help by including them… whether or not it helps, I’m not sure—but at least I try.

Thx

WritingNut said...

Yup... alllll the time... and not just with blogging... with LIFE :D. But I've always marched to a different tune, I think. You just have to keep moving forward and not get hung up on the small things :)

Like you said, we can't always be everywhere, doing everything, and that's okay. We're doing what we can, and giving it our best effort, and that's what counts.

And you do an excellent job of making people feel included, so don't ever worry about that. You were the first person to ever follow me and comment on my blog almost a year ago, and it was truly encouraging :)

Patty said...

I think we all feel like this every once in a while...just sort of at odds with everyone else's happy...I get over it...that is what I do...I just get over it...I look at my pond or hold my cat and read and ponder life...

Myra McEntire said...

Absofreakinlutely.

There are people I don't even tweet to anymore, because I feel like such a dork when they don't tweet back. I've unfollowed authors so I won't feel tempted to tweet them, and then be ignored, and then feel like I did in high school when I'd wave at someone and have to pretend to be smoothing my hair because I didn't get a response.

(((hugs))) I agree with what someone said above. You ARE the party.

Jennie Englund said...

We saw your fantastic dance moves, though, so at least you're making the most of being stuck outside!

Riv Re said...

Don't really know what to say, so I'm going to bring up a Taylor Swift song (admit it: you love her). It's called--surprise!---Outside and on just this ;)

Moonwillow said...

I especially feel this way in a group of people. I get lost in the crowd. Some people are extroverts and I am definitely an introvert. I tend to observe and thrive more in a one on one situation.

Karen Lange said...

Oh yeah, I've felt like this. And once I work through the silliness I'm fine. (One of these days I'll grow up all the way. Maybe.) I kick myself around a little and remember that to have a friend you have to be a friend. Oh yeah, and actually have a party, invite people, and then they often invite you to their parties...I'm rambling. Too much paperwork today...:P Thanks for the link!

Jamie Burch said...

I felt this way when I went out to dinner with a group of close girlfriends and they brought along their babies and toddlers. I don't have kids, so I felt out of place, especially when that's all they were talking about. But I'm happy for them. I just have different plans and dreams.

Alleged Author said...

What a great post! I completely agree that we should not be exclusive in our dealings with people, whether they be bloggers or others in our lives.

Jessica Love said...

I love this post. I actually feel like this WITHIN MY OWN GROUP sometimes, and that's a bummer.

I'm just trying to be genuine and have fun...we'll see how that goes.

Bethany Wiggins said...

You have never made me feel this way. Quite the opposite, in fact! Thank you so much for being such an awesome friend!

Carolyn V. said...

Oh I have felt that way, so many times. *sigh* But you've never made me feel that way. <3

Angela Ackerman said...

I think this is something we all feel. It can be tough for sure and I agree, if we all try to be a bit more inclusive, everyone wins. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Susan R. Mills said...

Oh, yes! I've definitely felt this way, but you know what I discovered... sometimes the view from outside is just as good as, if not better than, the one from inside.

Pk Hrezo said...

Well I'm a bit late to this... but I think yu've hit the nail on the head with how a lot of us feel. Especially on Twitter! Wow it's totally weird... like I'm spying others success. lol. But that's ok. It's how we learn. And I believe we all get our day in the sun.

This is gonna be such a great year for you!!!!

Paul Greci said...

I have felt like this, off and on, a lot in my life. I try to take a breath and tell myself that I am right where I need to be no matter how uncomfortable it is. It doesn't always work but it helps.

lisanowak said...

I've definitely felt that in this writing game, but for the record, you're not one of the people who's made me feel that way. I think you do a great job of being receptive. But you're only human, and the bigger your fan base grows, the more difficult that's going to be to maintain. I think your approach of rotating between the blogs you read and comment on is a good strategy. It keeps you sane while giving your fans and friends just enough to know you still care.

Julie Hedlund said...

I think it's almost impossible not to feel this way in the publishing sphere. Luckily though, the vast majority of people are so approachable and generous (yourself, for example!) that it makes waiting for that party invitation more bearable.

Natalie said...

If you feel like this I'm pretty much sure it's universal! I must say though that you are one of the warmest people on the web, very inclusive and kind.

I've definitely had days where I feel like I'm on the outside. Luckily I also have some really great writing friends, so I feel like there is always a place for me.

I worry about offending people when I stay off the internet for a few days, but hey, I do my best with the time I have.

Donea Lee said...

I feel this way all the time. Sad thing is - I know it's my fault that I feel this way. I'm convinced I have a touch of social anxiety disorder. I'm horribly, horribly shy and I don't really put myself out there (in person). Blogging has been amazing. This is such a warm, understanding community of writers who just "get it". Still...I'm scared to host blogfests (that no one will enter), or ask about cps (that they'll just ignore me or put me off). It's ridiculous, but... Anyhow! When I finally get over myself - I'll totally invite you to the party!! You'd be a hit for sure ~ :)

Heather said...

I hope you know how much you rock because you really, really do. It brings everything into perspective to know that even someone like you feels this way sometimes. You are always on the guest list to my party dear!

Amie B said...

what amazes me is here you are agented, with a book ready to launch and YOU feel like the outsider! i guess that's a very valuable lesson for me. i'm so accustomed to saying "i'll be happy when..." but why wait to be happy, y'know?

and i do feel like an outsider a lot of the time...like i wonder how everyone else does it ALL. blog. write. get awesome agent. read blogs. comment. crit. etc, etc. it makes my head spin.

Jenn Johansson said...

Thank you for this post, Elana. I feel like this so often. When we're already dealing with an industry in which we have to keep pushing and pushing with very little return to even have a hope of someday making it...the exclusiveness can be too much sometimes. Thank you for talking about it and trying to stop it.

One of the many reasons you are beyond all forms of measurable awesomeness. :)

Lola Sharp said...

I'm sorry I'm late to this. YES.
You know, I'd never really felt this way in my life, I've always felt included and inclusive in my life, in spite of never being the prettiest or smartest or funniest...but I have always been one of the friendliest, thus, I've always felt included. BUT, Twitter has changed that feeling for me in a big way. I've been snubbed many times...even by people above who say they feel this way.
I think sometimes people get caught up in a little success and their ego bloats for a bit. They may forget that those they deem unworthy of following back or even responding to, may one day soon be 'more successful' than them, or may have been someone to help them along their journey, buy their books. So, if only for selfish reason, they're missing the boat on being a snob.
I think kindness, politeness and generosity of spirit matters, not so much for how we are perceived, but because love/caring/kindness is the right thing, the best thing about life... and being supportive of all others, regardless of genre or where they are in their journey or in life, is the right choice.
YOU, Elana, have always been inclusive and kind and generous. Your heart is lovely. You make me smile frequently. *hugs*

I'm on a Kindness mission, a manifesto, if you will.
I love this post SO MUCH. Thank you for being you.
Love,
Lola

Beth said...

I don't worry about it too much -- after all, I have my own small career that I'm delighted with. But I must admit that once in a while I gaze enviously at "the cool kids" of the writing world. It's interesting that even someone like you would feel that way sometimes. Thank you for sharing!

Arlee Bird said...

Here I am, late to the party as usual. But yes in real life I often feel this way. In blogging it's a matter of time and timing. Sometimes I see a great post (like this one) and come in after everyone's left already. But it doesn't matter that much since I can go back and read what others had to say and see what all happened.

You are certainly welcome to join us at the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge party. I know you blog more intensely than most, but you could still find creative ways to tie in you daily posts with the letters of the alphabet.

Sorry it's taken me so long to stop by, but at least I made it!

Lee
Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Nisa said...

Yes, I feel like this a lot. What do I do about it? Cry! lol! But I also remind myself gently that most people aren't doing it on purpose so it's not a big deal. That actually works most of the time! ;)

Julie Musil said...

Judging from the amount of comments, you've struck a nerve! Yes, I feel this way sometimes. And yet writer/bloggers are wonderful about being inclusive. That's why your blog is one of my favorites. You're REAL, and we all appreciate that. And all of you from WriteOnCom made all of us feel welcome. What a gift that was. Thank you!

Vivacious said...

I always have the same feeling. on some days I elbow into the party, event. On others I walk since I know I will live to party another day

Tell me how you got your blog to look really good!!!

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