Friday, June 17, 2016
On making rain
There was a book industry event last night that I was invited to, one of those shindigs where a lot of big names are in the room. And I didn't go. I heard that several people asked for me, and there were also a couple of players there who I really needed to make a connection with for reasons I won't go into. But I didn't go. It was an anniversary party for a publishing imprint, and when the editorial director spoke, she cited the first book the imprint ever published, and then she introduced a current author who read from her just published book—and I had edited both those books. And yet I didn't go.
I am such a recluse. I wish now I had made myself show up. I am filled with morning after regrets, but yesterday the last thing I wanted to do was figure out what to wear and how to show up. I had a lot of good friends there. Really, it would have been fine. And I would have been visible, which is always important when it comes to getting work. So what is it with me? Why did I self sabotage? Shouldn't I have grown out of this by now?
On a more positive note, a global social entrepreneurship nonprofit just put me on retainer as an editor and writer. Not a huge amount, but every little bit matters, especially the bits you can count on. Best of all, I will be once again working with a woman I worked with years ago, before she quit to travel the world and live for a while in Bali and Argentina, and founded a nonprofit to promote global enterprises run by women and girls. She is a giant of a soul, walking this earth, and I'm thrilled to be able to engage with her again in work that feels meaningful. (Update: this gig fell through. Budget cuts. Hiring freeze. Sigh.)
I do very much enjoy the work I do, but I don't enjoy the socializing one must do to ensure projects flow your way. I frustrate myself by not putting myself out there in the manner that will bring me more work. I have a friend who does an amazing job of networking. She has three New York Times bestsellers under her belt, and every week she has a series of lunches or drinks with editors and agents. The work just flows to her, mostly because she is crazy talented and smart, but also because she's makes sure she's always top of mind when editors and agents are looking for a writer. She makes her own luck. She's a rainmaker. I look on with awe, respect, (envy), admiration, love.
The plain truth is, I can't do what she does. I'm not made the same way. I don't want to do what she does, no matter how much I should. Okay, I needed to write all that, to get it out of my system, to interrupt all the self-flagellation and woe is me (haha, I typed wow is me at first!), so I can go back to the book I'm working on, a deep ghost project that might actually sell very well, might even be a bestseller, but it will not bear my name. No one will know I wrote it. Well, I'll know. I'm learning so much. My mind is most at peace when I am writing. This is how I am made.