The relationships we writers build with each other are very important to us. We provide a camaraderie and a support structure for each other that we all benefit from. That being said, sometimes our fellow writers are successful while we’re still waiting for a break, or they are able to do things in their writing or editing that we can’t. So this week we asked the Confabulators if they ever feel jealous of other writers.
Yes, all the time. I see writers that successfully rewrite/edit/submit/publish their work, and I think, “How did they DO that?”
Of course I get jealous. But it’s a motivating jealousy. And it’s a sympathetic jealousy. I understand the amount of work it takes to get to that point, and mostly I’m just proud of my fellow writers for buckling down and working that hard at it. Do I wish I was at that point? Of course. Do I worry that where they were accepted I won’t be? Definitely. But mostly I’m just happy that my fellow writers are getting to live the dream.
Yep. I could just leave it at that, but what makes me jealous of another writer is how an idea is approached rather than a particular technique or a turn of phrase or someone else’s success. Some writers throw away ideas that would make the career of a lesser writer and when I can perceive that in a story, that’s what motivates me to write more. I try to pick up the ideas that writers leave laying around and make it mine. We’ll see how successful that makes me.
Honestly, is anyone ever NOT jealous of other writers? I don’t think jealousy is a bad thing, especially when I can look at another writer’s work and study how they’ve done something spectacularly. For instance, I’m horrible at world-building. I’m jealous of a lot of writers who are really good at it, so I’ve taken to studying their short stories or novels to figure out just how they did it so that I can get better. I’m jealous of almost every writer because they can do something better than I can, but that doesn’t mean I can’t turn that jealousy into something productive.
Absolutely. As an adult, I can take that jealously in stride and recognize it for what it us, but sometimes you’re just like — Ugh! That’s amazing! I am both pleased for you and utterly, devastatingly jealous of your success! If nothing else, it makes a good fuel for your own work.
Of course, but I think it is healthy. That jealousy can give you the drive to push just a little bit harder to get recognition for yourself. You know that person accomplished your goals, and it adds fuel to the belief that you are capable of it, as well. Jealousy is part of writing, and it is a very important part. Embrace it.
Let’s not beat around the bush. Of course I’m jealous of other writers. Whether it’s because they’re published, because they can support themselves off their writing, or because they’re better at stringing words together than I am, I’m jealous. In fact, I’m so jealous I’m turning green. But those are all things I can hopefully one day have for myself… if I work for it.