Okay, so it's the first Wednesday of the month. That means it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I don't participate often, but I am this month.
So I live in Utah. You may or may not know this, but there's about five million authors that live here. Big, famous ones like Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, James Dashner, Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, Ally Condie, Brandon Mull, and Jennifer A. Nielson. (And that's only a few of the authors who live here.) All New York Times bestsellers. I know most of them. Have their emails. See them at conferences and in more casual situations.
So it's pretty easy to feel like a loser. In fact, I went to a launch party last week for a good friend of mine, and it was super-fun. I went with five other people (which sort of goes against everything in me, but that is another blog post for another day). Of the five of us, I was the only one without an agent, a new book deal, or some other Amazing Thing.
I felt like a loser.
As I was downing my southwest Caesar salad (love it, try it) in an attempt to stay out of the conversation and get this dinner over with! I remembered something my husband said a few weeks ago.
How you feel is your choice. Those were not his exact words, lest he read this (which he will) and be like, "When did I say that?"
His exact words were "You choose to be happy." And not exactly in that order, but that's what my brain heard. Just like it heard "How you feel is your choice."
So at the restaurant, I slowed down on the food consumption and tuned back into the conversation. I asked other people about themselves, their agents, their publisher imprints. I decided right then and there that I was not a loser, that I could be happy for my friends even though my writing career hasn't gone exactly how I wanted it to go.
Those people are my friends. They work hard. They weren't "making me" feel a certain way. I was feeling that way all by myself. And I have the ability to change it.
I did. I won't say it was easy, because it wasn't. I had to concentrate on it the whole night. I was exhausted when I finally got home. But I had a great time, and I was happy--with myself and for my friends. No loser-ness in sight.
Have you ever had to work to change how you feel? How did it go for you?