I do a little writing. Sometimes, too little. I should do more. We all should.
There are few people interested in what I write. Mostly, it's those who have to listen to what I write, because I take it to critiquing group, and there are usually five other people there who write who in exchange for my criticism of their writing give their criticism of my writing. Otherwise, they wouldn't read it either. A few people have purchased my book, Making Expression Less Taxing, a Freelancer's Tax Resource. Whether they read it or not is another matter altogether. My editor read it all; I paid her to help me out.
Writers, even quite prolific ones, probably never reached the type of audience they dreamed of. There are exceptions, of course, like some of the best sellers. I'm pretty sure JK Rowling and Stephanie Myer are examples.
Over the years, I have been in a critiquing group. Many aspiring writers have come and gone in that group. I am the only one who remains of the original five or six individuals who started the group. I don't know how much those other individuals write now. My friend, Doug, was one of the more talented individuals who started with the group to begin with. He was published in some historical journals and, perhaps, some other places. He stopped coming to critiquing when he signed up for a screenwriting course at the University of Utah. He utilized a manuscript he had been working on in our critiquing group to create a screenplay. He entered the screenplay after it was completed in the Slamdance screenwriting contest. The contest is sponsored, as I understand it, by Sundance Film Festival. He won and subsequently tried to market his screenplay, although he didn't have the luck he hoped to have because he became affiliated with someone who was devastated because of the downturn in the economy.
I'm not aware of others until recently who have published anything who have participated in the critiquing group, although there may be some. Oh, as I say that, I remember one person --- Julie --- besides the one I was thinking of telling you about next. Julie published a story she brought to our critiquing group in the LDS church publication, The Friend. There are probably other individuals who had success, too, and I just don't remember or know about it.
Now I want to mention Matt. Several months ago, perhaps even as much as a year or so ago, Matt obtained an agent who ended up selling his second novel --- Matt writes for children and young adults --- to Scholastic. The book, known during the days that it was being fed to us at critiquing sessions, was The Fiddler's Grimoire. Now it is known as The Clockwork Three. It will be released on October 1, 2010. Matt will be headed out to New York next week to be with all the important people relative to its publication and release.
This whole background now brings me to the reason for this posting. Envy. They say that envy will knock at your door and beg you to let it in. It will use every conceivable enticement to have you let it in and turn you green, including begging.
I don't see it that way. It doesn't seem to affect me that way. Maybe it would have in my younger years. For one thing, Matt is a young man and I am an old one --- well, relatively. (Old, that is, not manly.) My dreams these days don't go to being a big, published, and recognized author. That all sounds just wonderful, but it also sounds like a lot of work and effort, too. And I am retired. And in case you haven't tried it, someday you ought to. It's awesome. However, it isn't that compatible with being a new, published author anticipating big things.
So, I don't think envy has much play in the success I see Matt having and anticipating over against my lack of success. They say also a writer should displace their envy of another writer with hard work and produce something of publishable quality. I hope I'll do that, but I'm not looking forward to all the implications of being successfully published, including all of the work.
But I guess I could make an exception, if somebody offers me big bucks and a platform.
I retired from public service to concentrate more time and effort on writing and other interests. I have two beautiful grandchildren and four grown children. I am married and have been for 37 years to my sweetheart.