Monday, July 23, 2007

The Writer as Martyr

After a month of agony, my poor dear husband was finally reunited with his beloved motorcycle. Hooray! We picked it up on Friday, and David merrily tinkered with the machine all weekend.

We managed a couple of short rides, too. First, we rode to Amish country and my favorite meat market in Winesburg, Ohio, so I could stock up on fresh, homemade jalapeno beef jerky and local sharp cheddar cheese. You see, I'm back on a no-carb kick after reaching the height of disgust when I caught an unexpected reflection of the un-posed me in a plate-glass window. But I digress.

Our second motorcycle outing of the weekend was a serendipitous event inspired by a couple of our favorite riding buddies and neighbors, Don and Linda. Sunday evening, after we pulled into the drive via the SUV after a long day of church visits, D&L caught us and asked if we'd like to ride with them to Taggarts to get ice cream.

I inwardly groaned at the thought of having to fight off the carb temptation so early in my diet, but I steeled my resolve and we saddled up and mounted our faithful friend, Silver. (For those of you who aren't "in the know," Silver is what we named our black-and-silver Harley Road King Classic when he first joined our family back in '03.)

Wouldn't you know it, my husband and our friends just had to order my favorite sugar high--Turtle sundaes, heavy on the pecans.

I ordered water. With lemon.

When their sundaes arrived, I tried my best not to play the part of the martyr, but I guess I wasn't doing a very good job. David offered to let me eat the lo-carb whipped cream off the top of his sundae before he took his first bite. Of course, I complied. Then, I sat back and watched as my three companions enjoyed their sweet treats.

Sigh. Why is it I just have to look at food and gain weight while everyone else can eat anything and everything they want? Why do I have to work so hard to take off every stinkin' pound? Why can't I have Linda's metabolism. Why? Why me? Poor, pitiful woe-is-me!

As a writer, do you ever find yourself playing the part of the martyr? Are you jealous of the successes of others when you've worked so hard and have yet to be published. Do you fight the urge to think, I'm every bit as good a writer as _____, why HER and not ME?

Newsflash--Even Christian authors are human. We are capable of wrestling with the same temptations of jealousy as our secular counterparts. How have you been able to overcome the lure of jealousy when another author enjoys the sweet success you deserve?

Proverbs 27:4 issues this warning--
"Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?"


Jess said...

Susan, you are so good at grabbing my attention, telling your little anecdote, tying it into writing, and leaving me with a spiritual thought. When does your Devotionals for Writers come out? I want my very own copy!

Rhonda said...

Hey Susan, I am on a low carb/low sugar diet also. Like you I got a look at myself and decided enough was enough. Hang in there and if you ever need a word of encouragement, email me.

Susan Downs said...

Wow, Jess, you really know how to make an editor's day! Who knows, maybe I'll pitch the idea for a devotional to our non-fiction senior editor, Kelly Williams, and see how far I get. :-)

Rhonda, I wish you success in your weight-loss efforts. If I can just get past these days of low energy, I'll be ever-so-thankful!

Happy Tuesday, all, skd

Cara Putman said...

I'm learning that each stage of this path has its own set of wish I were more like.....(fill in the blank). It's all work, but I remind myself that I am BLESSED to even have one contract, let alone these others. And being content where I am right now...while working with God on what those next steps should be. Boy, it's a challenge!

Mary Connealy said...

I feel almost on the flip side of the topic, Susan. Because I--not that long ago--crossed over the great divide between published and unpublished, I've got a lot of unpublished writer friends who are so talented and I just wish so much for them to join me. They're so great about me being published, such great Christian ladies. They'll all be published someday if they just don't get demoralised.

I've done the Atkins Diet. The only diet I've ever lost weight on. But I dropped out and now my weight is back where it was.

I'm with Jess on the way you connect slices of your life to the writer's life, Susan. You have a nice way with words.

Also I'm closing in on the end of my cozy. My heroine is in the clutches of the bad guy. The oblivious hero has yet to realize he must go to the rescue.

Will the forces of evil prevail?
Will the hero get to the damsel in time to untie her from the railroad tracks? (okay THAT was to throw you off the scent)

Will the damsel have to save herself again! while her hero dawdles?

Or will Maxie Mouse save the day as always????

Stay tuned.

Kristy Dykes said...

Great post, Susan, how you took something out of real life and related it to our writing lives. Good point. And I second the motion for you to write a writers' devotional book!

Jealousy? We have to heed Proverbs' warning. Good scripture. The whole business of writing is so relative and subjective. You have to have stick-to-it-ness. I'm very grateful for the 10 titles I have (with Barbour/Heartsong; love writing for them), but I desire to write a lot more books. I also have empathy for those who haven't been published. I call them prepublished. Someone said, "People don't fail; they quit." That saying helped me in my prepubbed days, and it helps me now. Don't give up on your dream, I say.

P.S. Four weeks ago, I had my upper wisdom teeth removed under general anesthesia, contracted an infection called cellulitis, and had a second emergency surgery. My jaws locked, and I could only eat tiny amounts of pureed soup or jello for two weeks, until they unlocked. Lost five pounds. Bad illness, but good news on the weight loss. I thought, Wow, I'll lose the rest easily. Not so! I'm still determined, but it's sooo hard, as you said! Especially since I love to cook. And eat. Desserts. Breads. Okay. Enough.

Susan Downs said...

Oh, but Kristy, you're such a skinny little thing! You're just the kind of gal I envy. :-) But I'll try hard to heed the proverb and tame that green-eyed monster. sd

Martha W. Rogers said...

Hmm,that jealousy thing really hit me where it hurts. About the diet, I learned the hard way that you have to change your eating habits for a lifetime. I lost the 64 lbs. 13 years ago, and fluctuate only a few pounds yearly. Hang in there and you can do it. If you want to know how I've done it, I'll tell you.

I've compiled the VOTW from ACFW into a book. Someday I might do something with it.

I do love your little slices of life each week, and I'm anxious to hear about your first visit with that grandson!!!!!!

Kristy Dykes said...

I ain't skinny no more, Susan! I've put on a few extra pounds (okay, like 10 or 15?) the last year or so. And when you're short, they show up more!

Janet said...

Losing weight? Don't worry! I'm finding it! Yes!

The problem with summer is that my upper arms see the light of day. *shudder* If only I could find a long-sleeved swimsuit...

Jennifer Johnson said...

Jealousy is tough, and no matter how much of anything I get from God, I always want more. SIGH! And still, despite all my craziness, God loves me and blesses me. It's all a matter of perspective. :)