Do any reading on what it’s like to be an author you’ll see some of the same phrases repeated over and over.
- This is a solitary business. You’ll be alone a lot.
- This business is cutthroat or this business takes thick skin.
I just had a conversation with another author who has faced what I have so many times in the last decade.
You meet another author and hit it off. You start slow, maybe personal notes in comment sections of social media, then private messages. Those turn into emails, then phone calls. Before you know it, you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands driving, flying, etc. to meet your new BFF.
Then someone better/newer/different/more connected comes along and you’re swept into the dustpan and tossed out with the trash. No more calls. Unanswered emails linger in your mailbox…PM’s show they’ve been read but still… no reply.
It hurts. It cuts you deeply. You realize your new BFF was just using you as a benchwarmer and you cry all over your cat/dog/hampster until their fur is matted.
Shiny new BFF has more followers! Can edit/design their cover/hook Ex-BFF up with Agent-Extraordinaire, whatever. And you’ve lost what seems like the only person that understands what it means to work 16 hours a day, alone. Your sounding board is no longer there. And you don’t feel as useful because you’re not helping Ex-BFF with their projects anymore because shiny new person came along.
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. I can’t tell you your BFF is coming back and if they did, I’m not sure you’d want them. But what I am going to tell you is that in the decade I’ve been around, and the amount of times I’ve been gutted… I have made some friends that are still around.
The thick skin forms eventually and it hurts less when you’re left for a shiny new BFF. Oh, it still hurts, I won’t lie. But my suggestion? Take it as a learning experience. Don’t be afraid to welcome in a new author buddy. There are so many of us out there, you’re sure to land one that sticks like dried applesauce to a plate.
But when that old author buddy walks away? Lick your wounds and keep plugging away.
Until then… here’s a big hug from Anita!