Let’s Talk About Writer Envy.

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.

woman carrying im here you not plank on front of waterfalls
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

 

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?

You are shocked at how you feel.

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

group of people sitting on sofa while discussing
Talking with trusted friends can provide support and answers

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.

woman staring through window
Envy can leave us feeling stuck.

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?

Envy+ Action.

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.

pexels-photo-2272752.jpeg
Go for walk , clear your head and brainstorm ideas,

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.

 

Author: soniabellhouse

Sonia Bellhouse is the author of Fire & Ice, a Scandi-timeslip romance about ice dancing, Norway and Vikings, published by Daisy Lane Publishing. She is also a contributor to Passages a short story anthology published by Serenity Press in 2018 and a contributor to Writing the Dream, an anthology for published writers produced by Serenity Press in 2016. In 2012she won two major awards in the inaugural Rockingham Short Fiction contest. Sonia's articles and stories are published in various magazines both in Australia and the UK. These include Good reading, Today's Bride, That's Life! and That's Life! Fast Fiction in Australia and Yours, The People's Friend and Best of British in the Uk. Sonia worked as a book reviewer for two years. An avid reader and writer of multiple genres she facilitated a local book club for eleven years. She reluctantly decided to give it up, to concentrate on her writing. Sonia is a long time member of a writers group, regularly engaging authors to present workshops to the group. Sonia enjoys catching up with friends, ignoring the ironing in favour of playing with her cat and learning new things. She's taken several online courses with Future Learn and The University of Iowa for both writing and non-writing topics.

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Writer Envy.”

  1. This definitely resonates. I am mostly happy for others, but sometimes I struggle. None of us are perfect humans!
    I absolutely agree with your perspective – we are each on our own writing trajectory, and it will be different for everyone. Some may take longer to achieve their goals, some of us many never see the success we hope for. Ultimately we can aim to be proud of our efforts and of what we write.
    And sharing in the joy of fellow writers actually can soothe our hurts. We can feel their happiness, and we can see what is possible for us, too. We may have a different result – not as huge, or even bigger! – but if we persist and keep loving writing, we are succeeding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah the green eyed monster still visits occasionally. I try to counter mine by reflecting on how far I have come and thinking about future goals. No-one knows another’s story or their pain or frustations.

      Like

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