Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Great Day for 'UP'

In the aftermath of a teenage cousin hanging with us this summer, my kids are watching more than their fair share of the teen scene stuff on TV. My youngest child asked me to explain some mean behavior a girl was exhibiting to another girl. I told her that sometimes people put others down in order to build themselves up. Then I told her how that wasn't necessary, since there is enough 'Up' for everyone.

It's something elementary that I repeat all the time-- many days I send my kids out to school with some variation of the building others up speech. But, recently I have been feeling like maybe we all need to review.

I rediscovered Verla Kay's blueboards (I had been on them before, but now, I actually registered), and I think they are a wonderful tool for writers. A very nice community. But, I came across a post about how some writer was frustrated that an author friend (who wrote for adults) was switching over to write for YA, because there was more money in it. And this writer was bemoaning about how that was one less spot for his own writing in the market.

C'mon, people, there is enough 'Up' for everyone.

Maybe I'm not being realistic. Maybe I'm being a bit naive. But, even so, wouldn't it benefit every one's state of mind, and state of writing, to believe that, when they were ready--when their writing was ready--that there really would be enough 'Up' for everyone?

And what does it do to the writing community, when someone is secretly hoping for others to fail so that they could get their 'Up'? Who would want to partner up for a critique with that guy? (I mean, not everyone can be as lucky as me--thanks, R!)

I think it's a lesson from kindergarten that we all need to remember.

And hopefully soon, we'll all be able to say, "It's a Great Day for UP!"


  1. That is just CRAZY . . . That would be like thinking the universe is finite. I mean, sometimes I might have a cynical eye about someone switching to a "hot" genre (e.g., I have given writing talks and had people approach me about writing YA/MG . . . and it is CLEAR they don't even LIKE teens but want to write what will sell). But I refuse to think there's one less spot. One word for thinking like that: karma.

  2. I agree.

    Your first sentence has me grinning. I am revising parts of my ms today that take place in Space, and I am there, in the Universe, with my character. It's a great place to hang. And it is infinite.

  3. I've known people who were strongly jealous of the success of others. And I've known people who could not celebrate a success with me but had to say something about themselves instead. Neither of these types of people are in my circle of friends today.

    I like the 'Enough Up' phrase.

  4. Sarah-- I hope we'll have an 'Up' party soon for you!

    People who can't be happy for the successes of others will find themselves celebrating their own successes alone, I imagine.