As I was laying in bed last night, trying to fall asleep and failing miserably, a thought occurred to me. Why do I bother?
I'm in the middle of final edits for Unequal, you see, and I always reach a point where I am sick to death of scrubbing a manuscript and wonder why I bother to do all this work. It's not like everyone else is bothering. There are writers who are selling more books than I am who obviously didn't work as hard as I do cleaning up my manuscripts. (Not all of them, lest ye think I am trashing people who don't deserve it. I'd venture a greater percentage of authors bust their asses than don't.) And I wondered if maybe I could get away with doing less, too.
Then I remembered something from my past...
Back in college, I was in the work-study program. I got a placement in the library - my dream job - but it was in the Governmental Documents Department. It was just me and this other gal, so we had a lot of work to do between us. (We never got a lot of patrons to help, but the GPO puts out a LOT of documents that need shelving, etc.) But we did it and we had fun with it. There were busy times and slow times, like any other job, but we stayed on top of it all. The only problem was she was a graduating senior. The next year, it was me and this new gal. I was still busting my hump, but she couldn't be bothered. So, basically it was me doing everything the two of us did the year before. I tried talking to her. Nope. I tried talking to the supervisor. Nothing. And then I began to wonder why I was working my ass off to make the same pay as the chick who did nothing. And I thought, well, maybe I could do nothing, too. But I couldn't. It wasn't in me.
That wasn't the first time in my life I ran across something like that. It wasn't the last either. When things need doing, I do them - whether others around me are inclined to put in the same effort or not. The amount of effort others put in should have no bearing on how much effort I put it. And it doesn't.
So, despite my 'why bother' thoughts, I will continue to bust through this edit. And I'll make it the best book I can. I have 40 pages left and then the last bits and pieces, then the formatting. I can do it. I will do it. Might be a crispy writer by the time I'm done, but I'll have the rest of the year to recover.
Ever been in a similar position - where you were working hard but your co-workers weren't? What did you do about it? In the case of the library, I eventually quit and moved on to another job where I wouldn't be carrying the full load and getting super frustrated all day.