I’m really good at being excited for people when they get engaged.
I’m really good at being excited for people when they get a new, exciting job.
I’m SUPER good at being excited for people when they get a new kitty cat or puppy dog.
I’m really good at being excited for people (and also really impressed by people) when they buy a house.
I’m really good at being excited for people when they graduate from high school, college, grad school, trade school, beauty school, or whatever other school they’ve put years and dollars and hours into.
I’m not that good at being excited for people with sports news, but I am pretty good at trying to be interested.
I’m really good at being excited for people who get to travel to new places.
I’m really good at being excited for people who are going to have babies!!! Or adopt babies!!!
But there’s one accomplishment/milestone that, when reached by others, does not produce in me excitement. It turns out I am NOT good at being excited for people I know who finish and publish books. Wah wah. Mostly because I have yet to finish (let alone publish) my stupid book which is just sitting around five finished chapters of a second draft being neglected. I believe it’s hard for me to be excited for these friends because this dream of mine to finish and publish a book is no longer something happening in the far off distant future land. Because my singleness and my doglessness and my babielessness and my rented apartment are all parts of a really nice present life. My life is nice.
I can be excited for my friends who get to experience those things now because I realize that I am experiencing other exciting things like taking way too many pictures of my cat and learning how to live in my second language/culture. And also because in my distant dreams of future land, I have all of those things, too! And we’re all excited together.
But this writing a book thing? There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be tackling that one in right-here-right-now-land. I have all of the tools I need, no matter how I try to convince myself that reading blogs about writing and books about writing are really just as good and helpful as actually writing. I have no excuse for not finishing my book. For the first time in my life, the excuse of “I don’t feel like it,” is not good enough for me.
In the end it’s my laziness, my pride, my fear of failure, my excuses, and my unrealistic expectations that piece together that big green monster of jealously preventing me from really, truly being excited for my friends who are doing what I will not – working hard enough and long enough to finish the book and get it published.