Thursday, August 30, 2012

August is Awesome Because of Angela Cothran

Have you met superwoman?  Some people call her Angie.  You may know her as Angela Cothran.  But everyone knows she's awesome!

She's been spotted darting through cyberspace, dropping little comments here and there, leaving behind a smile for the next visitor to wear.  If not, you might try the Live to Write blog.  She surfaces there rather regularly.

If you've yet to make her acquaintance, drop her a comment and say "Hi!"  Then you can tell all your friends that you met superwoman--otherwise known as the awesome Angela Cothran!


The Green Eyed Monster
by
Angie Cothran

First off I want to say a big thanks to Jeff for asking me to participate in August is Awesome. I’ve been MIA with my move and a big R&R, so I’ve been missing all my blogging buddies.

I thought a lot about what I wanted to write in this post, and I settled on something that has been on my mind lately--Jealousy.

This summer has been full of announcements by writers that an agent has snatched them up or they have signed a publishing contract. I read the posts then I read the comments, and while most people seem genuinely happy, sometimes there is an edge of, "Why them and not me?"

I have a good friend who recently found an agent. When she told me how she wrote her book in a few weeks and had a dozen full requests from contests without ever sending out one query, I wanted to shield her from a world that wouldn’t be happy for her speedy success. I even told her never to tell anyone about it.

I’m passionate about being happy for others. I have a few reasons why I believe when one of us succeeds we ALL succeed!

Cold querying works! In a time when who you know matters, the old fashioned way will still get you an agent. Great book + Solid Query = Offer of Representation.

Books still sell! If we were really all in a dying industry like so many people say, would agents still pick up books? No. Books will be here forever. Don’t let anyone tell you they won’t.

On the prowl. Agents are still avidly looking. Somewhere out there is an agent or publisher that will love your book. Don’t give up because they aren’t.

Karma Works. If all else fails, if you can send some sincere excitement to a friend you are sure to get it back :)

This is one of my favorite quotes on envy/jealousy:
"Envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is--downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment."
 - Jeffery R. Holland

Hopefully that didn’t come off preachy :) Finding ways to be happy even when it is hard always makes us better people. Like I tell my kids, "Attitude is everything!"


About Angela Cothran:

Angela Cothran is awesome!
I am passionate about books and chocolate (usually in that order :) I came to love writing later in my life when I wondered, "Could I write a book?" It turns out I can. I'm currently querying my MS and if I can find an agent who is as crazy about it as me I will shower her/him with chocolate and super professional emails (of course!) I live in Orlando Florida with my hubby and three kids, who all give me more character material than I will ever be able to use.

Connect with Angela at:

Her Blog Live to Write

And on Facebook

58 comments:

  1. Great post Angie. My CP and some others have gotten agents over the summer and I couldn't be happier for them. This is not a if they get an agent or publishing contract then there won't be any left for me deal, you know? they worked their butts off to get where they are and they deserve it. Even your friend whose path was a short one, I bet she put in all the work into her story adn that's what it's all about, right? our stories

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  2. There have been a lot of agent announcements this summer. I like your statement that when one of us succeeds we all succeed. We're a connected bunch. We'd never get anywhere without CPs and betas and blogging friends. Envy just separates us, which makes the journey harder.

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    1. I guess a person's reaction depends on their DNA or something. I dunno. I see a success story and think "that could be me someday" (or "will be" when I'm uber positive) rather than "why wasn't that me?" We can't help our initial reaction, but the reaction we permit to persist is the one we choose to nurture.

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  3. You can't help but wish that was you when a friend gets an offer. But I still am happy for others. Especially ones where I've gotten to beta. I can't wait until their books come out because I know that I was a small part in shaping their story.

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    1. That is so very true, Suzi. Every time I encounter The Duke's Handmaid by Caprice Hokstad (see Aug 9th post) on Amazon (or on my bookshelf), I can't help but feel like there's part of me in that book, having critiqued it with Caprice years beforehand, like I somehow share in her success. I've critiqued other novels that I fully expect to see published and will feel the very same way. It is an honest, awesome feeling!

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    2. There is a part of you in there, Jeff. For sure. Thanks for the mention.

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    3. :::Smiling at the feeling of validation:::

      You're so awesome, Caprice!

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  4. I like the quote!
    And you're right, your friend shouldn't ever tell anyone.

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  5. yay angela! sometimes it's hard to believe the "luck" some people have. i think it's more timing and readiness. when i'm ready to be published, my book (and query, etc) will be too and the right agent/editor/situation will appear. books are magical! the process, the stories, the authors...books wont even fade away now, they can last forever, digitally!

    great words, angela =)

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    1. Awesome people deliver awesome messages. :)

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  6. I simply loved this post! All of it. I knew there had to be the other side of the coin somewhere. Congratulations for thinking, feeling and writing like that. I'm your fan already.

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    1. This makes me smile on so many levels. I told you folks these people I'm introducing are awesome. :)

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  7. Great post, Angie.
    For me, I love seeing every success story! It makes me feel like it can happen, it does happen!

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    1. Just think how depressing it would be to *never* hear a success story. We need the inspiration and hope that comes from these successes.

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  8. Totally agree. I commented on Elizabeth Varadan's blog recently after she made her agent announcement and said I don't know why I get so excited when someone makes these announcements, but I do. She replied by saying the reason for my excitement is that "everyone's win is a reminder that 'it happens'". So thanks for another reminder, Angie. :)

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    1. Yup! It does happen. With effort and persistence and the right attitude, it will indeed happen.

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  9. I have to say that your photo with this post is awesome. I try not to be "green."

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  10. I'm a slush pile success story, so yes...cold querying works. And the jealousy bug is hard to avoid, it's rampant in every step of publishing. Whose book sold, how big of an advance, book sales, reviews, awards, etc. It's a tough industry for us seemingly sensitive writers, and being truly happy for others is the best way to overcome it. Nice post, Angie.

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    1. Congrats on that! A slush pile success story is perhaps the sweetest success story there is in this field--at least in my opinion.

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  11. I try not to be green...but...ever since you posted the pictures of your office and your pool, I've had issues. Hehe.
    Seriously, the pang of jealousy I get when another writer gets something I want..it's just insecurity...am I good enough? Will I ever be THAT good? I recognize that and remind myself to work harder if I want more, don't get all green and bitchy...that will get me nowhere!

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    1. Yes, the message we should take from the successes of others is that persistence and effort pays. We need both, the effort to continually improve and the persistence to never surrender to self-doubt. Angie packed a powerful punch in her post today.

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  12. Thanks Jeff and everybody :) YOU GUYS are the awesome ones!

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    1. The thanks is mine to give to you! Awesome message. Awesome delivery. Awesome impact.

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  13. Great post! You are so right! In fact, I believe that how sincerely happy/supportive we are of others directly effects how successful we are in our own writing. Great quote by Elder Holland, too! Love him! I'll visit your blog! :D

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    1. Glad to see you were able to meet Angie, Liesel! I've seen so many people connect with new friends this month. I'm smiling with such satisfaction having been able to play a role in all this.

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  14. Great post, Angela! It's hard not to compare our writing to others, but we are all on different paths and can only do our best without measuring it against others. At least, if we want to keep our sanity :) Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Great post, Angela! Great advice too! I love that quote...it's so true. All of us experience jealously in some shape or form and if we aren't jealous, this world will be a better place but it happens everywhere even in the Blogosphere.

    Each writer takes a different path and we may run into another writer who cares about your opinion, perhaps writing and it can be the best thing. This can happen if you make an effort to gain an audience and once you have an audience, they'll be cheering you on in the background!

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  16. What a great event, Jeff! Thanks for hosting.
    Angie - I loved this. I hate to admit it, but I too have experienced some envy reading about all the good news this summer - which is crazy because I haven't even sent out one query and you're right - it means that people are getting agents!!!
    I love the quote you shared. Thanks for the great post!

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    1. Thank you, Kim! I have honestly had a total blast this month. It required far more effort to organize than I had expected, but it was so very worth it that I may have to do it again next year!

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  17. Oh the jealousy bug, it gets us all! Even when it's our turn to have the excitement, we still get jealous. :) Darn human nature ;)

    But really, it does happen! And this friend of yours went through a lot to get where she is. Trust me ;)

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    1. Yes, we all pay dues in some way, shape or form. Some query forever. Some revise endlessly. Some battle with every single paragraph written in the first draft. Some land an agent and still wait an eternity for the book to sell. Some get the contract and the book never takes off. Some struggle with reviews or distribution or marketing. We ALL pay dues and should never begrudge the success of our peers.

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  18. I guess I have a different take on this. We feel jealous of someone when they do something we're not willing to work toward--too much work, too much time, whatever. We envy people who achieve what we're working for, and can (in many cases) feel happy for their success because it validates our own path.

    Isn't Jeff awesome?

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    1. awww shucks. Don't make me blush, Lauren.

      I believe there is a morsel of wisdom in what you say though.

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  19. Attitude is definitely everything! (I tell my kids that all the time, too. :)) And jealousy definitely isn't a fun one to have.

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    1. Very true, Peggy. And I believe we often don't stop to realize that attitude is a choice.

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  20. Great post! Attitude is everything!

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  21. I have to say I totally understand you. Even with great news of my own. I have been there in the past and I know I will be there in the future. But it usually passes pretty fast for me and then I scream just as loud as everyone else. ;0)

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    1. I've seen these announcements and actually felt more encouraged with each one. Each new announcement makes me think that my announcement is one day closer. In the meantime, I'll write, revise, polish and repeat, grinning a little wider every time someone yells "Great News!"

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  22. But there are so many people who DESERVE their success. Even your friend who did it in a short time, who's to say she doesn't deserve it?

    BTW, totally taught Holland's talk in Relief Society on Sunday. I don't like downing that jar of pickle juice. No siree, it isn't for me.

    Great guest post, Ang!

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    1. I do love me some pickles. :-) Not so crazy about downing a jar of the juice. When we stop and really think about it, almost no one gets anywhere without deserving it.

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  23. Love this post. It's great to know we are all human and yeah, jealousy exists, but we need to "Pack" it away as best we can.

    I'm totally new. I'm in my 30's and I've only begun a first "real" WIP, first draft, so I am totally NEW :)
    I try not to get too ahead of myself. One thing that I'm not on is social media (twitter, FB, etc) and I think this is a disadvantage for me (but it's something I have no choice about because of low finances), but at the same time I just hope I can do things the old-fashioned way and still have a shot at things.

    It's always best to try to keep my eyes on my own path and remember to do what I can do and not get too overwhelmed.

    Great post again. I'm off to check out your specific blog site too because your "about me" is great :)

    Jill

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    1. Your boat looks much like mine, Jill, only my boat's a bit older. ;-) The social media is great, but it also introduces a whole new set of traps one must carefully navigate. As with anything, one must find the proper balance.

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  24. Oh, and I know that Natalie Whipple (at "Between Fact and Fiction") has talked about this a lot in the past. Great to see others confess the fears and envy, but still keep it in perspective and practice the art of gratitude.

    Everyone has a different path to walk. No better , no worse. Just different.

    Jill

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  25. Jeff, thanks for having Superwoman - erm - Angie over today.

    Angie, I enjoyed the post a great deal. It can be a bit interesting to read about all of the success stories going on around you and wonder, "Why not me?" Hopefully, in that same breath, there's a swift turn to "Okay, may not be me now, but soon, real soon." After all, Doree and Marlin didn't find Nemo by staying still even in the darkest moments. They kept swimming. They had incidents, issues and circumstances, but they kept swimming. And as writers, we have to keep writing so that one of those success stories can one day be our own. Beside, what good comes of putting bad ju-ju into the universe? :-)

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    1. It was totally my pleasure, Angela. She's super awesome, no doubt! And yeah, no bad ju-ju. :)

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  26. Great post Angela! There have been a TON of "I have an agent" and "My book is getting published posts" this summer and honestly, I have been THRILLED for all of them. The way I see it, they were in my shoes once. They worked and worked and WORKED on their novels to get to where they are. It's motivation for me to continue what I'm doing so I can have my own celebration :)

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    1. And when that day of celebration comes you had better let us know so we can celebrate WITH you!

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  27. I'm jealous of this post. J/K!

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  28. Jealousy is definitely something I can relate to. I'm happy for bloggers that I follow who have found success as writers, and it helps that they're nice about it and encourage other writers who are still struggling. But I've met people outside of the blogosphere who are successful at their work and like to constantly remind other people of how successful they are. That's when it gets really hard to deal with my jealousy.

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  29. This is a great post, Angela! And I LOVE that quote.

    ...wish I'd written it...

    ;)

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  30. So very true, Angie. Being resentful about someone else's success doesn't make my work any better.

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    1. And that about sums it up in a nutshell, doesn't it? There is absolutely nothing beneficial (to us or anyone else) to harbor resentment and jealousy towards another person's success.

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  31. I love this post, Angie & Jeff! What a happier world we'd live in if we spread sincere kindness instead of envy and its sister vices. I for one am going to avoid that jar of pickle juice at all costs!

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    1. Hey Kathryn! Angie's post definitely resonated with a lot of people and I think that's great. The message is a powerful one and addresses something we'd prefer to ignore or deny. Leave it to someone awesome to say something so spot on so well.

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  32. This is an awesome post, Angie and Jeff. Angie, you have the most amazing attitude and others can learn from you. I loved the quote, but even more, I loved all of your reasons why " When one succeeds we all succeed." They are all so true and I especially believe your Karma mention. I am so happy for Cassie Mae and I honestly believe that most people are as well. She exudes such sweetness and positive energy -how could anyone not wish her well? If they do, then they will most definitely summons the wrath of bad karma.

    I understand how easily a person can feel jealous of the success of another, but we do not work in a field that one's success necessarily means another person's failure. It is exactly the opposite and you have done an excellent job pointing out all of the reasons we should all see that another writer's success reinforces that it is possible for anyone who writes a good book.

    Thank you for the powerful message. Congratulations to Cassie Mae and to everyone who successfully completed one of their goals this summer.

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! Your response to the post was just as awesome! And yes, a BIG congratulations to everyone completing goals. And a big congratulations to everyone else who is still working to complete goals too. Not giving up is always worth a few kudos!

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