Years ago, I had a bit of an obsession with Jane Yolen's Journal and began thinking of her as my on-line mentor. What attracted me was her ability to churn out incredible amounts of work and maintain a very active social life. For a while I thought that reading of her exploits would improve my own output. Eventually, though, I began to think that I wasn't modeling myself on her, but comparing myself to her, which wasn't at all good for me because the woman is a freaking machine that appears to exist to write, publish, and go out to eat with interesting friends.
For whatever reason, I decided to start dipping into her journal again. The old Jane work ethic might be a kick in the pants, which can only do one good. So I was reading this post filled with all kinds of exciting work news about book sales and revisions and the ins and outs of editors, and thinking, Yes! Yes! OMG! I am like a plant and Jane is the sun! This is wonderful!
Then I got to the end of her post where she starts talking about having a dessert party for fifteen friends. I couldn't scrape together fifteen friends who would come to my house for dessert, and if I could, I don't know what I'd do with them while we were eating. Then she had four houseguests for five days. Come on! Five days! I wouldn't even want to be someone's houseguest for five days, forget about having someone stay with me that long. And four people? That would take my guestroom and both the sleeper sofas. (Why do I have two couches that turn into beds if I don't want houseguests, you may ask? I cannot be trusted in a furniture store.)
So now I'm feeling anxious again, which is only compounded by the fact that I'm going away for three days and taking one of the elders with me. I need to relax tonight and not be thinking about making dessert! And I know I'm going to go back to Jane's journal when I get back home, drawn like a moth to the flame upon which she will expire.
By the way, I call Jane Jane not because I am being forward but because once during a conference Q&A I asked her a question, and at another conference I had her sign a book for me, so it's almost as if we know each other.
Hey. I wonder if I should friend her on Facebook.