On Facebook the subject of writer/author jealousy came up. Some people were saying how they couldn’t let go of the green-eyed monster. They just couldn’t stop fixating on other authors and what they were accomplishing.
I think we all know that jealousy is the doorway to self-destruction. It’s a human trait we all experience but it can be incredibly damaging to one’s self if they allow jealousy to overtake them.
I remember what it was like to be unpublished and let me tell you newbies something, writer jealousy does not stop when you have a contract. Oh no. Even published authors are jealous of each other sometimes. There’s always someone you feel gets the better deals, the bigger advances, more acclaim. So don’t think that you can escape the demon once you release a book. No. It’s about getting your head straight. That’s where it starts.
You wanna put that energy into bettering your own writing so that one day you’re so super that you’re the recipient of one’s jealousy, not the jealous person. It’s not always easy to face being jealousy. It makes you feel even more inadequate.
You have to work at it and change how you approach yourself and your goals.
I’ve outlined some steps to help you go from being jealous to having superstar confidence.
Stop Watching other Writers:
Stop paying so much attention to other writers’ business. What another writer accomplishes or does has nothing to do with you or your career. Their book deals, their publishing company, their advance is none of your business! Concentrate on your work and being the best you can be and you won’t have time to “hate on” someone else.
Reevaluate Your Expectations:
Yep that’s right. Writing is not the type of career where having high expectations helps. If your expectations are too high you can end up losing your drive because most writers cannot live up to their unbelievable expectations. When things go wrong it’s natural to believe we’ve failed and that feeling of inadequacy opens the door to jealousy simply because someone else’s career seems to be going perfectly and yours is stagnant. Writers should have goals of course but if your expectations exceed the normal realm of possibility you’re setting yourself up for developing career jealousy when things don’t turn out as you expect. And most times they won’t.
Figure out Why You’re Jealous:
The misconception is that jealousy means we wanna be someone else or have their lives. Jealousy stems from us being depressed and unhappy about ourselves. A lot of jealous writers have things going wrong in their lives that have nothing to do with writing but the jealousy might be leveled to someone in our field because that’s who we’re around the most. If you’re unhappy, try to figure out why. Left ignored, depression can cause jealousy among other destructive thoughts to fester.
Maybe you just aren’t busy enough. If you’re sitting there worrying about other writers then you should take that wasted energy and write your book! Poor the emotions you feel in your writing. Turn it from negative energy to a positive result. Sometimes writers are just lazy. They want the rewards but don’t want to put in the work then wonder why things might be going better for others. The only way to stop being jealous is to accomplish something of your own and that starts with writing.
Separate Yourself from Other Writers:
Sometimes you can’t fight jealousy no matter what you do. Separate yourself from other writers if you can’t escape their “good” news. Some days it’s like you get online and everything is going great for every writer except you. When things aren’t going as well for you then hearing loads of good news at every turn can be very depressing. Step back for a while. Stop going to writing forums, Facebook writing groups or anywhere that makes you uncomfortable for a while. You’ll come back with a better out look and realize that another writer’s success does not affect yours.
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