Did I write that book?

I just had yet another one of those heart-stopping moments where I saw a book title, then read the review of the book and thought:


I’m pretty disgusted with my reaction. I’m sure my idea isn’t so original that no one else could’ve had that same one. Yes, I had my idea before that book was published—but what if that author thought of it first? Or maybe she didn’t think of it first, but she executed it better?


I’m chalking this up as another exercise in, “I’m only responsible for my effort, not my success.” If I was meant to sell that manuscript (I did shop it around a bit), then I would have sold it.

The end. Now it’s time to suck it up.

2 thoughts on “Did I write that book?

  1. Hi, first of all I am enjoying your blog! I have a small question though, I am not in the writing field so do not have the same exact issue, but in business we also think of ideas and there are just some people who are more motivated or more focused on the goal that get it executed faster. I wonder if when things like this happen it should be a motivation to stay focused on the goal and be more determined. what do you think?


    • Thanks for visiting the blog, Malkie:

      I think that motivation and focus aren’t the problem (of course, I can’t be objective, as I’m talking about myself!). I’ve been consistently writing and until the last year, I’d made a lot of picture book submissions. After taking a break, I recently started submitting picture books again and just started writing one this week.

      It’s more likely that the other author did something better. Better could mean actually produced a better story, better targeted her submission, wrote a better cover letter. If I read the book in full–which I plan to do–I might be able to learn a thing or two that will help me sell the next book in the future.

      I think that, as I hinted above, the bigger issue is the subject of a post I wrote last week: who’s in control here. I could have had the idea first, could have written it funnier, written it better, but if G-d didn’t think it was the right time for me to sell my book, it wasn’t the right time. Period. No more pity party for me. I might not know why it wasn’t “my turn,” but because G-d is perfect, I just need to accept His judgment and move on to a different project.


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