Erfolgefreude vs. The Green-Eyed Monster

You hear a lot about the green-eyed monster in this business; writers jealously pointing out this author or that deal and wishing/craving/pining for it to be true for them, too, and that one day we will each have our own international tour, be welcomed on Oprah, have a 7-figure deal. But the truth is that while each of us worries over the future of the publishing industry and our own paths on its winding roads, I can say without a doubt that I haven't met a more supportive, kind & welcoming crew as I have as a YA author.

Conferences like SCBWI and RWA are contact highs of inspiration and mind-blowing brilliance, ALA and BEA and other "rock star" events are like Disneyland on a Sugar Rush for books and their fans, and the chance to sit and talk with other people who are passionate about reading and writing (whether in person or online) is perhaps the brightest spark in the day: it's where we can understand and can be understood, we mere mortals who've been gripped by the Muse behind our keyboards and red pens everywhere. These are our peeps and tweeps. We want everyone to succeed Big Time!

I've been there when people I knew got prestigious awards, jumping up and down along with a crowd of editors, bloggers, and YA librarians; I witnessed someone getting a two-book deal on the phone and I actually screamed at my computer when a friend announced her Significant Deal. I sent an e-card when an online friend finally got an offer from a great agent. It's indescribable, really. It lights me up because they light up, they *so* deserve it, and when good things happen to good people, it's impossible to feel bad about it because it's wonderful & there's more than enough wonderful to go around!

Really, there is.

"How do you measure success?" Because when you look at the numbers or the print run or the PW report, it's only a small indicant of what's been going on for years. I decided I couldn't "rank" books or review them anymore on Goodreads or Amazon because now that I know what it takes to make a book happen, I couldn't be a good judge because I was no longer blind to the struggle. You published a book? You deserve kudos.

So when I went searching for a word to mean "joy at the success of others" (sort of an opposite of "schadenfreude"), the smart and savvy agentess Jennifer Laughran suggested "erfolgefreude": "successes joy", that bubbly feeling when you know someone you know just had something amazing happen!

It's the sort of infectious smile that this video gives me every time!

Erfolgefreude. Own it. Love it.

The green-eyed monster doesn't stand a chance!


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