Jealous Much?

I know a lot of writers. Some are friends, some just acquaintances, some via six degrees of separation. Professionals, amateurs; some are talented, some are not, some are still learning their craft. Some sell a gazillion books, some are pre-published. Some write fiction, some non-fiction; short works and epic tomes. Men, women, old, young, funny, scholarly, entertaining, deadly boring …. well, you get the idea.

I must make a confession. (I’d call it a public confession, but who am I kidding. Both of you reading this do not a ‘public’ make.)

For a split second — sometimes longer — when I hear of the successes of my writer peeps, I’m jealous of 99.3% of them. (The rest I simply don’t like so I don’t care about their news. Don’t judge me.)

This ugliness doesn’t last too long before I shoot them … a note — c’mon, I’m not a monster! — congratulating them on their achievement. But I can’t deny the ugliness was there, however briefly.

Recently I stared my green-eyed monster square in its slack-jawed face and tried to figure out why my emotional knee jerks in such a manner. I came up with some reasons.

1. Guilt. I’m not working as hard as I should to finish the manuscript/market/step out of my comfort zone/get better at my craft/blah, blah, blah. And they are. And hard work wins out every single time. And I’m a lazy slacker doo-doo head.

2. The unshakable belief that I’m a better writer than they are and yet — poor, pitiful me — nobody quite sees my incredible talent.

3. Or, equally appalling, the humbling idea that I’ll never be as good as they are and giving up is my only possible option.

4. I’m a terrible, terrible person.

No, I don’t really think I’m terrible. I guess I’m just human. But I do have moments of lazy slacker doo-doo head-ness. After all, I wouldn’t want anyone to be jealous of me.

What about you? Do you have pangs of jealousy? Have you figured out why?

0 thoughts on “Jealous Much?

  1. Bonnie_

    There’s a big difference between engaging in the dismal act of coveting and just being a normal human being. I feel a twinge of jealousy at a lot of things that I wish I had — big book deals, a smaller butt, a nicer car — that others have. But I don’t spend my days simmering in anger and constantly whining about what others have that I do not. I know people like that, and I don’t hang out with them. You’re definitely not like that!

    Reply
    1. beckycc

      Thanks, Bonnie … and you’re right. It’s a matter of degree, isn’t it? Like never driving again because you got a speeding ticket. Or never writing again because you got a rejection. Or never binge drinking again just because you puked all over your favorite suede shoes. Oh, wait. Of course, I’m just kidding. I don’t have suede shoes!

      Reply
  2. William Brock

    Years ago, I wrote the first 20 pages of a novel: a boy who is allergic to sunlight comes to understand the night, and the dark, and grows up to be a detective. A few years later, Dean Koontz writes a novel about a detective , allergic to sunlight, who really understands the night and the dark. This has happend to me three times with Dean Koontz novels. I’m not really jealous, but it must be a related emotion: I get pissed at myself for not having the stamina or confidence to finsh a novel–I let Dean Koontz do it instead.
    –Bill Brock

    Reply
  3. beckycc

    Brock … I think that’s my favorite story ever! Maybe you should draft a story where Dean Koontz shovels your driveway, buys you a new car, and sends you on a tropical vacation. It’s worth a shot, right?

    I’m not concerned about you and your writing, though. As one of my more prolific writer pals, I think you are an inspiration. And maybe novels aren’t your thang … those short stories are working for you pretty well. Thanks for commenting!

    Reply

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