Nebula Nomination and Facing the Green-Eyed Monster

Recently, The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced the nominees for the 2015 Nebula award here. For those who don’t know, the Nebula and Hugo awards are usually considered the most prestigious awards for writers of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugo is like the People’s Choice award, in that it’s nominated and voted on by anyone who purchases a membership to WorldCon. The Nebula awards are more like the Academy Awards (Oscars). It’s nominated, voted on, and presented by SFWA, an organization of professionals in the science fiction and fantasy world. The list of Nebula nominees this year is collection of incredible writing by a very diverse group of writers. It includes men, women, people of color, and LGBT authors. Check out the list, you’re sure to find some truly great reads there.I am not among the list of nominees, I had four pieces eligible which I talk about here. Do note however that the Hugo nomination process is open until 3/31. It goes without saying that I’m disappointed, but I’m not terribly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, I think my work was solid and I’m well and truly proud of what I produced last year. But considering the caliber of writers who get nominations, not to mention that I’m new to the writing world and still largely unknown, I knew the odds. That being said, I’m proud to say that a fellow Impulse author (and maker of evilly delicious treats), Beth Cato, was nominated for her novella, Wings of Sorrow and Bone. I’m ridiculously happy for Beth and she absolutely deserves the nomination and, I believe, the award.This does however put me in a position I imagine a lot of people have been. I’m both happy for those who were nominated (yeah, Beth!) and also very jealous. Many people will say to get over it, that jealousy or envy is a terrible emotion and that you mustn’t let it consume you. While I agree with the latter part, I disagree about it being a terrible or negative emotion. I’m not sure there are purely negative or positive emotions. It’s really about what you do with them that defines not only them, but you. I could let my envy drive me to write a long and furious rant about how I was robbed, or snubbed for one reason or another, and deserve the nomination much more than so-and-so. But I don’t want to be that person. Really, does anyone? Okay, the internet is packed with people who clearly don’t mind, but I don’t want to be one of those people either.So what to do? For me, it’s simple. I’m going to use that emotion to become a better writer. One who writes better books, and try again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that if need be. If I want to win a Nebula or Hugo, then like getting published, all I can do is keep producing the best writing I can. Until then, I just need to remember that there are a lot of amazing writers who have never been nominated for a Nebula. So, I’m in good company. In the end, it isn’t what you feel about something that defines you, it’s how you react to it. You bet I’m jealous of the nominees, but I’m also happy for them because I know they are undoubtedly as excited about it as I would be if it were me. So I’ll cheer them all on, because if/when my time comes, I hope those who weren’t nominated will do that same for me.The lesson though isn’t just for me, or other writers. Everyone can relate to this. It might not be an award. Maybe someone else got a promotion you were hoping for. Or you didn’t get the job you really wanted. Or any one of a thousand other things where you didn’t get what you hoped for. You can envy those who did make it, but don’t let that green-eyed monster devour you. Put a saddle on that scaly beast and take it for a ride, cheering and applauding for those who did get a win. Be the person you hope others will be when it’s your turn.

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