I was browsing my old Livejournal last night, actually looking for an old post I thought might be worth reworking, and I never did find that post! I found a "super secret friends locked" post from 2008 before Magic Under Glass sold where I was venting about being "the last one" to get an agent and sell in a group of friends.
This is really a rough place to be, the Last One. No matter how excited you are for your friends, how can it not smart? No matter how much you tell yourself it's a subjective business and things change all the time, you feel sort of like the world is telling you you're not as good as your friends. Ouch.
I didn't talk often about envy or negative feelings during my publishing journey, but that was a moment that did get to me. I said:
"I can talk about a little envy in the general sense, but when it comes to my friends succeeding, I hate to say a word about how much I'm smarting. I don't want to begrudge them their happiness. Nor do I want to show the failure of my own character in being hurt when they beat me to success. I want to be absolutely serene, trusting in the universe to take care of me, it's never really been about the money anyway, and I know the recognition will come, and my ideas are offbeat and that often just takes longer to be recognized. I know all this. I KNOW this deep in the core of my being. But the damned tears WILL come.
Pat me on the head and tell me some nice, sensible things I already know, I could use it."
Of course, since then I've sold three books. Among other commenters who were in the unpublished boat at the time and said some of those nice, sensible things I needed (or else just a "I know how you feel!":
Lindsey Leavitt, author of PRINCESS FOR HIRE and SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD
Mindi Scott, author of FREEFALL
Sarah Williams, author of PALACE BEAUTIFUL
Sheela Chari, author of the upcoming VANISHED
So if you're the Last One, take heart. It really doesn't mean the fates hate you forever.