You like to think that you are a good person.You dont hate people or resent them, until an acquaintance has a stroke of writing luck.
Until, someone you know wins a contest, has a piece published, writes a book or simply seems to be everywhere . They are on websites, giving interviews in magazines and book shops ,they are the next big thing and you tell yourself you are happy for them and you are. BUT…..
Not Quite So Happy?
But there is voice in your head that isn’t quite so happy at all. An inner voice that says ‘but what about me?’ Eventually, you realise that you are suffering from writer envy. You want what he or she has got. You whine inwardly because it seems to have been so easy for them.
And because we are all good people, you don’t talk about it or mention it to anyone. Gradually, you realise you are envious because what they have matters to you. If they were climbing mountains or being a successful investor, that wouldn’t cause you to envy them. But writing, that’s your thing, your passion.
Talking Writing with Writers
I recently brought this up in an online writer’s forum and most people were happy to acknowledge that yes, they felt it too. There was compassion and wise advice posted in the comments. Many adniited feeling the same. One piece of advice was ‘ be yourself- everyone else is taken.’ Their is wisdom in that, we each have our own lived experience and perceptions. So we have a unique perspetive .
Taking it further Here is the dictionary definition of envy from dictionary,.com
Envy a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
Similar: jealousy enviousness covetousness desire resentment resentfulness bitterness discontent spite the green-eyed monster.
So, knowing we do feel envy ,what do we do about it? How do we use it creatively? How do we avoid bitter envy, and don’t say or even think those things?
Take action instead and use the feeling to spur you on. What did they do that you didn’t?
If they won a contest that you didn’t enter that might encourage you to enter next time. They submitted their work to a publisher while yours is still in a drawer. They got a lucky break, yes, but they were out there in the writing community .Being there,they met people, heard of opportunities.
Let envy encourage you to take action. You may never sweep into a book talk with an entourage of publicist, bookseller and adoring fans as some succesful authors do. But rememeber that even the most successful writer began somewhere- with blank sheet of paper and in an idea.