At any given moment, you can be reasonably confident that...
- 1/3 of all people in the world love you.
- 1/3 of all people in the world hate you.
- 1/3 of all people in the world don't care either way about you.
I can see how this world view would be tremendously liberating. For the past day, I've been fussing internally over what Mercedes Lackey, one of my favorite authors, thinks of me. This isn't as far-fetched and obsessive as it sounds. We're on the same Facebook page for a podcast novels she co-writes, and we've occasionally exchanged public words. While I am mostly complimentary and unoffensive, as is my nature, I'm also not shy of calling things as I see them; I don't do simpering and fawning well, and what constructive criticism or opposing viewpoints I offer are always carefully worded so as to be respectful. At least, they seem so to me and are intended that way. I'd really love it if she developed a fondness for me, somehow - not to the point of becoming bosom friends, but enough to merit a helpful hand with my writing. Writing for publication is, in large part, who you know to get you "in the door" - acquaintances already on the inside are good to have.
Thinking and worrying over this, however, is not beneficial in the least to me or my work - so accepting the "Rule of 3" should, if I could just take it to heart, free me to actually move on to more useful activities. Chances are, Ms. Lackey is one of the bottom third of people in my world... I matter less in her world view than a speck of dust on a monitor, and that's not likely going to change. Neither will I be able to affect her negative opinion of me, if she's of the middle third and has decided I'm a relatively irritating nuisance or just another wanna-be writer trying to catch her eye. Pontificating on how I could change either state takes up time I could be spending to other ends... writing, nurturing relationships with the people who are in the top third of my world, doing the work that sustains life and allows me some time to write.
And if she is, against all odds, already in that top one percent and thinks kindly of me, whether or not she can lend me a hand in getting published is entirely in her court, not mine. I've no say in it whatsoever, and can only take comfort in thinking that one of my favorite writers knows who I am.
Perspective is good to have. I wish I had it more firmly!