Friday, February 8, 2013

Secondhand triumph

Hello out there, Operation Awesome!  My name is Becky Mahoney, and I’m one of your new bloggers. I’ve been a huge fan of this site for a while now, having participated in my first Mystery Agent contest almost exactly two years ago, and I am thrilled to be part of this sensational team.

I am rather newly agented (and I’ve been trying for the past two months to get this to sink in!) but my publishing journey thus far definitely hasn’t been straightforward. And yet, shockingly, I ended up exactly where I desperately wanted to be. It’s funny how these things, on occasion, work out absolutely perfectly in the end.

So here I am, on sub for the first time, doing what people on sub do. Which is to say, I alternate between periods where I feel like it's not real, and periods where I realize it is real, and then absolutely freak out. On top of that, though, I've noticed that one thing in particlar has intensified. It makes me ridiculously happy to see people succeed.

I'm not sure when this started - probably around the time I started querying in earnest - but success stories became my drug of choice. Suddenly I couldn't get through the Olympics, or an award show, or even one of those cheesy singing competition shows without misting up a little, because awww, they look so happy!

But, of course, that impulse is the strongest when it comes to writing. I love reading agent stories. I love reading book deal stories. And last week, that impulse almost got me in trouble - it would have been hard to explain to my boss that I was beaming at my desk because I'd set my Twitter feed to #ALAyma. For whatever reason, bosses don't like it when you're ignoring your work to watch authors find out, in real time, that they've just achieved another dream.

Part of it is, of course, that feeling is stronger now that I've been in this community for so long, and I've gotten to know these authors, agents, and editors through the beauty that is social media. But it's mostly that I can't help but be absolutely thrilled for them, because I know exactly how it must feel. When it comes to my own publishing journey, I am quite the stubborn realist, more out of sheer self-preservation than anything. But I've been where these people are a thousand times in my own head, sometimes so intensely that it takes me out of wherever I am and puts me right in that moment. It's the kind of moment you don't want to leave - and sometimes, I don't even try.

But for whatever reason, bosses aren't too fond of that, either.

So happy Friday, Operation Awesome! Indulge yourself in a little daydreaming today. It's good for you. ;)

And in the spirit of this post, if you'd like to post in the comments about something fan-freaking-tastic you've accomplished lately, have at it!

11 comments:

  1. I totally get this. It makes me come off as a bit of a fangirl sometimes, but that's okay, I guess. It's even more intense when it's someone you know, but I do rejoice for random strangers on twitter, too, when they announce some writing or publishing accomplishment -- even if it's just finishing a first draft.

    You put it to words so well. Welcome, Becky! Happy to have you here!

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    1. Thank you for inviting me, Katrina! I am so, so happy to be here. <3

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  2. I find myself especially happy for cover reveals and release-day parties! :-)

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    1. Toni, you just reminded me of this video Susan Dennard posted when she received the finished copy of her first book... it was such a good example of secondhand happiness that I had to dig it up!

      http://susandennard.com/2012/06/20/news/

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    2. Great video! You can just feel the pride in her smile. Beautiful book, too! What an awesome feeling it must be to hold your book-baby for the first time. :D

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    3. If it ever happens to me, I won't even be able to deal with it. I will just be INCOHERENT, LOL.

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    4. Make sure you get THAT on video! ;)

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    5. Becky, there's a typo in your reply above--it should read "WHEN it happens to me . . " right? ;)

      And I'm really close to sending out my second book so it's definitely a daydreamy time!

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    6. Aw, Angelica, you're sweet <33 I know we'll be celebrating some good news for you before long!

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  3. Hey hey, congratulations! I feel like I haven't accomplished anything awesome lately, but I'm working on some applications for Summer workshops, and nearly finished an epic revision of my book "Won't somebody think of the children!" so who knows about the future?

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