Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ego blows

I just ran into a neighbor/aspiring writer in the supermarket and our conversation left me shaken. No, that's not quite it. Flummoxed is a better word (and one that I've never actually written before).

He's an aspiring writer—quit his job to write full time. He's been doing this for a couple of years and seems to have found some success as a freelancer, which is great. But no matter what I said, he knew more. More about publishing, marketing, freelance, books . . . the list goes on. Even though I've had books published and have worked in publishing for years, I was consistently not in the know.

And that was the ego blow. This guy was talking to me like I was an enthusiastic high school senior looking to move to the big city. While I wouldn't go as far as to say he was condescending, he was completely disinterested in anything I had to say. The more ambivalent he was, the more I felt I had to prove myself. I've written 10 books. I design for publishers. I worked in the promotional department for a major publisher. I have an agent. I've put proposals out there. I've been paid for my work. All were met with something he had to say that proved me wrong.

I got more and more insecure, asking about his writing teachers/writing groups, convincing myself that I've been doing everything wrong and if only I was doing what he was, I'd actually be successful. But, once I escaped the vortex and got back to my living room with my milk and bananas, I came back to my senses. It's not me, it's him. If he needs to be the expert, ok. I just don't have to have that conversation again.


Kate said...

Yeah, it is his problem! I think we all come across people like that from time to time, they're probably very insecure.

Barry' said...

Great Blog Post...I have been there with these people. It is them...he is trying to prove something to himself.

I need a book deal said...

His loss. He needs to grow up. Life is about others. Although my blog name is a little self involved ;)