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Friday, July 16, 2010

My Archenemy -- Sorta

When I lived in Vegas, I worked in a law office as receptionist/legal assistant for a couple of attorneys who had just opened their own personal injury practice.  One of our clients was a self-proclaimed author.  He was very particular about his name, and would always, always spell it even though it was a no-brainer (five letters TOTAL for first and last name). He was a bit of arrogant ass if you want to know the truth.  I always wondered whether he was legitimate or not.  Or if he just said he was a writer because he thought it made him cool.

Awhile back, I was preparing a mailing to our clients (a chore where my mind is free to roam). His name came to me out of the blue.  I think it's a testament to how irritating he was that his voice would still reverberate with me 20 years later?

So, I did what any self-respecting curious gal would do.

I Googled him.

(What on earth did I do before computers and Google? )

Funny thing was he had JUST published his first book.  Like only weeks before. I found pictures of his launch party and ummmmmm....only in Vegas is all I have to say.

On the one hand, I'm GLEEFUL that the arse had to wait nearly 20 years to get published.  Serves him right for being such a horse's patootie.  He was exactly the sort to reply to a form rejection with a colorful tirade.

On the other hand, I'd always sorta assumed he was a big fraud and now I can't think that, can I? I've also got  a ticking clock...as long as it takes me LESS than 20 years to get published, I'll be happy because I'll have beat him! hahahaha.

So, do you have anyone you're secretly in competition with?  I know, we're not SUPPOSED to compare ourselves with anyone else. Our journey is our own.  I believe all that, I do.  But I know human nature, and I know we do it anyway.  If Joe Schmoe got 2 offers of representation, then I want three.  Or...if Brainy Janey finished her book in 6 months you're aiming for 5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days.

Don't name your nemesis--I don't wanna start anything!  Just tell me if you've used someone else's experience to set your goals.

14 comments:

Saumya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saumya said...

Hm, I'd be lying if I said I didn't. Actually, reading such moving and entertaining books encouraged me to write one so technically, someone's published work set my goal! You will definitely beat this Vegas-partying-five-named weirdo.

Justine Dell said...

Hmmm, my beta? Kidding. I've already decided that Sarah will beat me to the finish line. Her stuff is flat out better. There's no arguing that, and I'm happy for her.

5 letters for a first AND last name? Strange.

~JD

Carolyn V. said...

I don't have anyone in particular that I'm in competition with, but when I hear one of my friends say they have an agent/book coming out, I panic a little inside and push myself to do more.

Jen said...

I wouldn't say I'm truly in competition with anything but even though I hear a friend has a book coming out it just makes me work harder to reach my goal. I want to do it fast but once I start revisions I realize it just doesn't happen like that!

Candyland said...

Probably. But maybe unintentionally. That's all I'll say:)

Mary said...

Not intentionally but there is someone who irks. If mine wasn't female I'd say it was your "friend."
Braggers always make me work harder -- maybe that's their true purpose in life?

Giggles and Guns

Matthew Rush said...

I don't have anything quite like your experience, but I definitely had one of those moments Stephen King talks about where I read a book and I was like "I can write something better than this piece of ..."

Lydia Kang said...

The only person/thing I'm really competing against it time. I don't want to wait 20 years to get published! The ticking clock is my worst enemy. Which, in publishing, is hard enemy to have.

Dawn said...

I certainly have authors I'd love to emulate (in a business / publishing path sense) and a couple of friends and I set challenges for each other. But most, there's a few people I'd like to "prove" something to - a book is an in-your-face "I did it!" moment for sure :-)

Lola Sharp said...

I'm with Lydia on this one...time is my enemy. With a busy life and family, it's hard to find time for myself and my writing.

Sooo...did you read his book? (if you haven't, you know you want to.) Did it suck? Do tell.

Happy weekend! :)
Love,
Lola

Lenny said...

hi miss vicki! that guy sure sounds strange. dont worry your gonna get your book published. i dont have a competition going with anyone. i get a little jealous some times cause mostly everyone in my family writes stuff better then me but theyre not writing books like i am so maybe that doesnt count. have a fun weekend!
...hugs and sunshine from lenny

Jolene said...

Everyone I've ever met or will meet. It's rough being a competitive person.
No, kidding... mostly.

Ah, Vegas, lived there for a while as well, let me just add that you can walk down the strip wearing ANYTHING - as long as the tiniest strip of fabric covers your bits.

Ed Pilolla said...

it's a great question: when are we really writers? when we 'get' published? when we write a finish a book on our own? getting published today through the traditional channels is often more dependent upon networking than content anyway. don't get me wrong, i'd also love to 'get' published and make money that way. but i do resent that the publishing industry officially decides when we 'become' writers, i guess.
terrific stuff to think about.