a dirty little confession: I get jealous sometimes.
been blessed with great writing friends. They cheer me on when I’m up and
support me when I’m down, and I like to think I do the same for them as they struggle
in this crazy profession of ours.
every once in a while, when they experience greater success in their writing than
I do, I get jealous.
isn’t an easy admission. Jealousy is petty. It turns me into a small-minded,
mean-spirited version of myself that I really don’t like. And it takes away
from others’ success, even if it’s only in my mind.
closest writing friends and I started at roughly the same place in our writing
careers and we worked very hard. They’ve earned every little bit of their
success. As have I.
my case anyway–is like admitting that I believe I’m the better writer and
really, should be more successful than they are. They should be jealous of me.
know, I know. I told you it was a dirty little secret.
couldn’t handle the feeling, so one day I told one of my friends how I
felt. Instead of recoiling in disgust, she
just patted me on the knee. Then she shared her own stories of jealousy and we
laughed at ourselves.
do writing couples deal with this? What happens if one partner has more writing
success than the other? Seems to me you need a strong, healthy relationship to
deal with the monster together.
deal with it by admitting it. Whenever I feel that spike of jealousy at a
friend’s success, I tell them. Turns out the jealousy monster gets smaller when
you shine the light on it. I’m still not proud of feeling jealous, but I am
gaining self-knowledge, and maybe a little wisdom.
what I learned. Don’t let jealousy fester in the dark. Drag it out into the
light and let it shrink from shame. Share your feelings with your friends and
learn to laugh at yourself. And whatever you do, don’t belittle other writers
in any kind of public forum. That only reflects poorly on you.
anyone else out there feel like confessing? How do you deal with the ugly
feelings that jealousy engenders?