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Roly
02-18-2010, 06:26 AM
I know we writers are generally supportive of each other (and honestly? Thank GOD for this site), but ... just to ask an honest question. Have you ever felt jealous of other writers who have found the agent, the publisher, the fanbase? From the big names to the not so big ones? It's an entirely human emotion, but sometimes it can be totally distracting to one's own efforts. What do you do to guard against it? Can you?

Scribe66
02-18-2010, 06:39 AM
Absolutely. You'd have to be a saint not to feel jealous of someone else getting the Agent, the Deal, the Break you want so badly yourself. No shame in acknowledging it, either. And there's no one way to cope with those feelings--just the way that's right for you.

When things got really bad, I would go offline until I could be sure I could come back with only positive things to say; disappointment and the internet are not a match made in heaven. I'd vent in private to a friend or family member about my frustrations. I'd play my most defiant music as loudly as I could stand until I regained some optimism or, at least, attitude. And I'd make myself send out more queries or write some more on my WIP or dream up some new ideas. And, yeah, sometimes I wallowed, but I found it worked better for me to keep moving forward. The people who'd gotten their big break weren't holding me back--I was.

PoppysInARow
02-18-2010, 06:39 AM
I used to get jealous a lot, espcially of people I didn't think deserved it. But once I came here, I never felt jealous of another writer, especially not on this site. I know one day I'll be in their shoes. I just feel good for them and move on.

There's nothing wrong with jealousy. Lashing out because of it isn't a good thing though.

Polenth
02-18-2010, 06:49 AM
I don't feel jealous of people. I may want something they've got, but it's separate from them.

As an example, I might wish I had an agent and be reminded of that when someone announces getting an agent. I don't feel jealous of that specific individual for having an agent.

OctoberLee
02-18-2010, 08:00 AM
Jealousy? I haz it. Comes standard with the green eyes, I'm told.

Actually, I find it really motivating when someone has something I want. On this board, I don't think there's been anyone that I've truly been jealous of, because most people here work really, really hard to get wherever they are. So when someone gets that agent/that contract, I tend to think they probably worked at it harder ands for longer than I did.

mccardey
02-18-2010, 08:17 AM
I don't feel jealous of people.

lol

I do.

mccardey
02-18-2010, 08:19 AM
Wait - by jealousy do you mean that infantile, whingeing waaaahhh-how-come-they-got-that-and -I-didn't thing? That inexcusable kind of what-about-me thing? That spoilt and whiney you're-kidding-they-published-that-and-it-sold-three-million-copies thing?

Yep - that's the one I feel.

But only some of the time. You know - not when I'm sleeping....

Red-Green
02-18-2010, 08:44 AM
oh lord yes. most of my crit group members have had great things happen in the last year or so. I wish them all well and hope for the best for them, but sure, I'm jealous.

Vespertilion
02-18-2010, 08:55 AM
Dude. All the f'ing time.
I will go so far as to call it Envy.
Oh yes.

WildScribe
02-18-2010, 09:01 AM
Sometimes when I see someone that (I feel) is undeserving. I read a book that is full of plot holes, misspellings, bad grammar, cardboard characters, etc., and sure, I feel it.

kaitie
02-18-2010, 09:08 AM
I used to feel that way a lot back when I was in high school and college. My best friend used to write things for class she didn't give a darn about and then have them published, while I would often work my butt off trying and couldn't get anywhere. Also, most of my friends (if not all) who write were always better than I was on first drafts, and that used to drive me insane.

Now...not so much. Every once in awhile I do, but I actually tend to be more discouraged than jealous. And even then, most of the time I do pretty well about saying one of these days I'll get there.

I will admit that recently I had a day when I was pretty upset because I had beta read something and the author had told me about getting many requests for the work. It was one of those things that was so frustrating because I know for a fact that my writing and story is better--that's as objective a viewpoint as I can muster. I usually actually assume that I'm not as good as those around me. But in this case, I know that from a technical viewpoint I am a higher level. It was frustrating because this writer was getting many more requests than I have been and had sent fewer letters, and it just had me in tears saying what on earth more can I possibly do? I think it's my word count that turns people away, but it's just so horribly discouraging to think that twenty thousand words would be enough to make someone assume the worst about my story or my writing ability. :/

So yeah, it wasn't so much being jealous as it was feeling frustration at what's going on. I've found, though, that congratulating people on their successes has helped me because I really do mean it, and I get to feel good for that person even when I haven't made it that far yet.

Roly: If it helps you're doing a lot better than I am with submissions. ;)

Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2010, 09:28 AM
I've been on this site 5 years. More if you count when it was part of ... whatever that other board thingie was... I've seen a lot of writers who started out like me, struggling, writing, submitting, hoping. Many of them are agented now. I'm still not.

Yeah, I get jealous. I think its only human nature.

But they're still my friends, and after I give myself a timeout, I come back and I'm supportive of them.

xiaotien
02-18-2010, 09:47 AM
if you're not jealous as a writer, then
you must be dead. =)
for me, i acknowledge my twinges of
envy and torrents of jealousy as OH-KAY
and i usually use it as something to inspire
me--whatever achievement the other writer
may have accomplished. or lesson learned
in some way. and if it's a writing friend, the
ugly green is always tempered by genuine
happiness for her. so i focus on that.

the whole loopy business can be
totally bipolar overwhelming but i still
firmly believe in keeping a positive attitude.
esp if you want to keep on keep on and
stay sane. =)

/bootay shake!

Toothpaste
02-18-2010, 06:59 PM
Yes.

I'd say jealousy is one of my personal demons. If I was a character in a Shakespearean play it would be my tragic flaw (move over Othello). I feel it acutely and often, and I hate it. Jealousy has never done anything positive for me. The only good thing I could see coming out of it would be pushing oneself to be the best one can be in a competitive kind of way. But I don't need that kind of push. I have the drive sans that.

As far as I'm concerned, jealousy is a useless emotion and I wish upon wish it would just go away. I hate it. But I have it. And I work daily on controlling it, and hopefully making it smaller and smaller. The only way really to guard against it, is to not allow it to take over. To say, "no" to yourself when you feel it, and carry on with your life. For me I can't let it prevent me from doing anything, otherwise it has won, and, as I said, I don't approve of its existence, it's certainly not controlling my life.

But I do feel it. And you just have to try to get past it as best you can.

Samantha's_Song
02-18-2010, 07:14 PM
I've never been jealous of anyone yet, but I do wonder how one or two have done it.

Chris P
02-18-2010, 07:18 PM
You bet. But then I have to look at myself. Have I been revising? Not so much. Have I been querying? Not in a while. What have I been doing? Sitting on my butt stewing. Then shut up about it, Chris P!

meeeeegin
02-18-2010, 07:25 PM
I know we writers are generally supportive of each other (and honestly? Thank GOD for this site), but ... just to ask an honest question. Have you ever felt jealous of other writers who have found the agent, the publisher, the fanbase? From the big names to the not so big ones? It's an entirely human emotion, but sometimes it can be totally distracting to one's own efforts. What do you do to guard against it? Can you?

I think being jealous is just part of being a writer. I think it pushes you to do better. My friend recently found an agent and I got all green with envy and then started writing more...after vowing to never write again hehe.

AryaT92
02-18-2010, 07:27 PM
I don't get jealous of other people, mainly because I am an egomaniac.

CaroGirl
02-18-2010, 07:29 PM
Of course! But that doesn't mean I can't be pleased for them at the same time. Jealousy and support can, and do, coexist.

Just because I want what you've got doesn't mean I'm not thrilled at your success.

meeeeegin
02-18-2010, 07:30 PM
well then you sir are lucky...i think...eh

Shady Lane
02-18-2010, 07:32 PM
I try to keep in check.

The fact is, even when you're not in the query-trenches anymore, there's always someone younger than you and more marketable than you getting a bigger book deal than you. And until you come to terms with that, it sort of eats you alive.

I try to focus inward and onward. It depends on the day how I do.

Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2010, 08:20 PM
Holy cow! Shady Lane has 43,563 posts in just 3 years!

I'm jealous.

Jamesaritchie
02-18-2010, 09:50 PM
No. How does feeling jealous help anyone. It hurts you, and it hurts them.

Feeling inferior, I could understand, but not feeling jealous.

CaroGirl
02-18-2010, 09:54 PM
No. How does feeling jealous help anyone. It hurts you, and it hurts them.

Feeling inferior, I could understand, but not feeling jealous.
Jealousy isn't always (perhaps is never) logical. I don't feel inferior because I'm pretty sure I'm as good a writer as some published novelists. Jealousy arises because I want what others have. I'm willing to work to get it but I haven't got there yet. Jealousy is a normal human emotion, even if it isn't a very useful one.

Pip
02-18-2010, 10:09 PM
I can be a competitive person at times. When someone seems more successful than me at something Iím interested in, I quickly up my game. I've suddenly got one more reason to try harder and get better.... Even if itís just a game of Fifa, it helps me improve. So I guess thatís my way of guarding against Jealousy, if that makes sense. :)

Renee Collins
02-19-2010, 02:37 AM
Yes.

I'd say jealousy is one of my personal demons. If I was a character in a Shakespearean play it would be my tragic flaw (move over Othello). I feel it acutely and often, and I hate it. Jealousy has never done anything positive for me. The only good thing I could see coming out of it would be pushing oneself to be the best one can be in a competitive kind of way. But I don't need that kind of push. I have the drive sans that.

As far as I'm concerned, jealousy is a useless emotion and I wish upon wish it would just go away. I hate it. But I have it. And I work daily on controlling it, and hopefully making it smaller and smaller. The only way really to guard against it, is to not allow it to take over. To say, "no" to yourself when you feel it, and carry on with your life. For me I can't let it prevent me from doing anything, otherwise it has won, and, as I said, I don't approve of its existence, it's certainly not controlling my life.

But I do feel it. And you just have to try to get past it as best you can.

This.

Jamesaritchie
02-19-2010, 02:57 AM
Jealousy isn't always (perhaps is never) logical. I don't feel inferior because I'm pretty sure I'm as good a writer as some published novelists. Jealousy arises because I want what others have. I'm willing to work to get it but I haven't got there yet. Jealousy is a normal human emotion, even if it isn't a very useful one.

I really think we're talking envy here, not jealousy, but it's the same eitehr way.

Some emotions may not be logical, but any emotion can be overcome with logic. Either you control your emotions, or your emotions control you.

Jealousy or envy may be "normal," but so is hate, anger, etc.

If you really are as good as another writer, you will get whatever she got. If you aren't as good, jealousy is just going to harm you, not make get you whatever someone else has.

Wanting what someone else has is a read that leads away from happiness, whether you're jealous of another person's spouse, or envious over their success and possessions.

Simply being happy for them will take you a lot farther than being envious of them.

backslashbaby
02-19-2010, 02:59 AM
I don't get jealous, really. I want something and am separately bummed about the fact that I'm not incredibly naturally talented, but I love it that people are. I find people's success and talents entertaining.

If I can't stand somebody or their methods, I get irritated if good things come easily to them, but that's kind of a mad-at-Karma thing ;) I like more fairness in the world, sure :) But that's for me and everyone else, too.

Unless you can eat anything you want. I'm flat-out jealous of that!

mccardey
02-19-2010, 03:02 AM
Well okay, J.A.R, but I think its more fun to claim all of the seven deadly sins (and then some) and, you know, enjoy them.

Besides, I do get jealous. It doesn't make me a bad person, it doesn't interfere with my writing and it doesn't make me unhappy and it doesn't make me mean. I just get jealous. Not saying everyone does, but I do. Not often, but sometimes. I know it, I work against it, I move on - but it never overwhelms me because I know when the feeling comes it's just something called jealousy.

HappyCamper
02-19-2010, 03:12 AM
Absolutely. I think that to a certain level, it's healthy.

skippingstone
02-19-2010, 03:49 AM
Whenever I eat my own heart out, I use mayonaise as a condiment instead of ketchup. Like they do in Belgium. Because I'm more sophisticated than most Americans.

Actually, when I'm feeling jealous, I simply remind myself of how good-looking I am and that writing is just a diversion until my trust fund becomes fully available to me when I turn 42 in May.

mccardey
02-19-2010, 03:57 AM
My trust fund's bigger than your trust fund. Want some mayo ? ;P (that there emoticon is a wink with a poked out tongue. What can I say - I'm very old and I don't understand the internet...)

Shady Lane
02-19-2010, 04:26 AM
Holy cow! Shady Lane has 43,563 posts in just 3 years!

I'm jealous.

the secret is the YA forums. They're like OP except your posts count.

Parametric
02-19-2010, 04:31 AM
I often feel jealous of people who are more talented or more successful or more awesome than I am. That's a lot of people. :tongue

Haupe
02-19-2010, 04:53 AM
Except me, Para, 'cause I'm jealous of you. :P

I don't think I'd be attempting half the things I try now if it weren't for jealousy. It used to paralyze me, but now I employ it as an indicator of what's really important to me - not what I think I'm supposed to want, but what I really desire.

Turning it into actionable goals has been key to celebrating other people's success, even as I try to follow in their footsteps.

Parametric
02-19-2010, 05:06 AM
Except me, Para, 'cause I'm jealous of you. :P

Yeah, I can totally see why you'd be jealous of me ... wait, I can't. :tongue

AuburnAssassin
02-19-2010, 05:09 AM
Gracious yes and the longer I'm here, the more susceptible I am, but it's what I do with it that counts. Wish I could say that I always turn it around into more motivation for myself but sometimes I just have to pout a bit before I can.

Roly
02-19-2010, 05:31 AM
Yeah honestly, I think sometimes we just have to let ourselves feel that kind of unproductive jealousy. Stew, pout, get it out of our systems and then forge ahead. It's better than repressing.

mkcbunny
02-21-2010, 06:06 AM
No. I just don't respond that way. If it's someone I know, I'm always happy for them. And if it's a writer I love, ditto. Where I might respond poorly is if I think a writer is sloppy, I'll start to feel dejected and disappointed in myself, wondering why I stick to doing what I'm doing when no one wants it. I have more of a tendency to turn the lens back on myself and wallow in self-doubt than to become jealous.

Not necessarily the healthiest reaction, I suppose.

erinbee
02-21-2010, 09:52 AM
It's a relief to see that so many other people struggle with this issue. I, too, try to keep it in check. When I do feel jealousy, I use it as motivation and also as a way of checking in with myself. Where do these insecurities come from? What have I done for MY career lately?

That said, it's scary to feel that base kind of irrational emotion, especially around other people's successes. I try to think in terms of colleagues, not competition, which helps.

kaitie
02-21-2010, 02:59 PM
No. I just don't respond that way. If it's someone I know, I'm always happy for them. And if it's a writer I love, ditto. Where I might respond poorly is if I think a writer is sloppy, I'll start to feel dejected and disappointed in myself, wondering why I stick to doing what I'm doing when no one wants it. I have more of a tendency to turn the lens back on myself and wallow in self-doubt than to become jealous.

Not necessarily the healthiest reaction, I suppose.

I don't think it's necessarily an unhealthy reaction either, though. It's unhealthy if you let it get you down and can't move past it, but it's difficult to work really hard at something very important for you and be faced with setbacks. I think it's normal to have some sort of negative emotion, be it jealousy like some people, or self-doubt like us. The trick is being able to dust yourself back off the next day and move on in spite of it. That's what makes us stronger.

Katrina S. Forest
02-21-2010, 11:33 PM
Never had any serious jealousy, but a ping of it now and again. I think the thing to remember is that the person shouting out "I got the agent!" in the good news thread could've very easily been in the rejection and dejection thread the day before writing off that long-forgotten full request as "no."

One day can and does make a big difference.

Jamesaritchie
02-22-2010, 03:17 AM
Well okay, J.A.R, but I think its more fun to claim all of the seven deadly sins (and then some) and, you know, enjoy them.

Besides, I do get jealous. It doesn't make me a bad person, it doesn't interfere with my writing and it doesn't make me unhappy and it doesn't make me mean. I just get jealous. Not saying everyone does, but I do. Not often, but sometimes. I know it, I work against it, I move on - but it never overwhelms me because I know when the feeling comes it's just something called jealousy.


Then you're overcoming it with logic. Me, I prefer to avoid all the deadly sins. I try to avoid pretty much anything with words like "deadly" attached.

Except deadly weapons, of course, if I'm on the right end. Not everyone is able to overcome their various sins by logic alone, so I find deadly weapons a handy thing to have around, as long as you practice "it is better to give than to receive."

Alanna B.
02-28-2010, 01:14 AM
When I see others succeed in something I have worked hard for, I am happy for them. It honestly makes me want to work harder to get there. Its motivating! So that's a good thing I guess!

MsJudy
02-28-2010, 08:09 AM
To all you folks who are claiming you never feel jealous because it's counterproductive or illogical...I apologize in advance, you may snitch on me to the mods, but I just have to say:

Bullhockey.

Or maybe you're just so thoroughly indulging in the other 6 Deadly Sins that you don't have time left for that one? Hmm? Is that it? Maybe Pride or Lust or Gluttony have just overpowered poor little Jealousy? Is that the case.

Of course we feel jealous. We are Human. Well, I assume we all are. I probably shouldn't jump to conclusions around here, though. Some of you seem to know an awful lot about the FeyFolk and Succubis and squirrels and such...so maybe we all aren't.

But anyway. Humans feel jealous. And if you really, honestly, truly, have never felt even a twinge of envy when a fellow writer who is at least not THAT much better than you are gets 5 frickin' full requests when you have a big fat ZERO...

Well, if that's true, then maybe you should learn how to feel jealous. Seriously. Go out and study up on it. Because jealousy is a pretty damn good motivation to give to one of your characters, and if you've never felt it yourself, then how are you going to make it believable in your story?

Geez. Of course we all feel jealousy. The plot revolves around how you deal with it. Self-improvement...or murder? Hmm....

backslashbaby
02-28-2010, 10:56 AM
:D The other sins may be more fun, yes ;)

But think of the mental strategy of being happy for other folks when they have happy time. Instead of Me - ZERO, Friend - 5; it's me 5, too. 5 more chances to be happy and have cake and fizzy wine, and I didn't have to do any of the work. Nothin' wrong with that ;)

brokenfingers
02-28-2010, 11:36 AM
Nope. Never.

I don't know. In my mind, my skill, my successes, my failures, etc. all have to do with me and me alone. My achievements just aren't related to their success at all.

So I'm always happy as hell when someone I know has success or gets a book deal or lands an agent. It just reaffirms to me that it is possible.

The rest is up to me.

backslashbaby
02-28-2010, 11:40 AM
Nope. Never.

I don't know. In my mind, my skill, my successes, my failures, etc. all have to do with me and me alone. My achievements just aren't related to their success at all.

So I'm always happy as hell when someone I know has success or gets a book deal or lands an agent. It just reaffirms to me that it is possible.

The rest is up to me.

I know, right? If we wrote the same story and sent it off to the same people, that would be one thing. But comparing things that have so many variables? Eh, I'd have to think hard for reasons to do that, myself.

Polenth
02-28-2010, 03:28 PM
To all you folks who are claiming you never feel jealous because it's counterproductive or illogical...I apologize in advance, you may snitch on me to the mods, but I just have to say:

Bullhockey.

Or maybe you're just so thoroughly indulging in the other 6 Deadly Sins that you don't have time left for that one? Hmm? Is that it? Maybe Pride or Lust or Gluttony have just overpowered poor little Jealousy? Is that the case.

Of course we feel jealous. We are Human. Well, I assume we all are. I probably shouldn't jump to conclusions around here, though. Some of you seem to know an awful lot about the FeyFolk and Succubis and squirrels and such...so maybe we all aren't.

But anyway. Humans feel jealous. And if you really, honestly, truly, have never felt even a twinge of envy when a fellow writer who is at least not THAT much better than you are gets 5 frickin' full requests when you have a big fat ZERO...

Well, if that's true, then maybe you should learn how to feel jealous. Seriously. Go out and study up on it. Because jealousy is a pretty damn good motivation to give to one of your characters, and if you've never felt it yourself, then how are you going to make it believable in your story?

Geez. Of course we all feel jealousy. The plot revolves around how you deal with it. Self-improvement...or murder? Hmm....

Not everyone feels every emotion. When they do feel an emotion, people vary in what causes it and how they react.

I don't feel anger. I'm not a lesser person or inferior because of that. It just means I'm different. I find angry people as hard to understand as most people find the concept of not feeling anger.

Now jealousy I have felt before... but as I said before, I'm jealous of things rather than people. I'll want the fluffy teddybear, but I'm not jealous of the person with the fluffy teddybear. It's the concept of owning the teddybear that's the target.

There's nothing wrong with people having different emotional responses. It's perfectly normal, and someone isn't automatically lying because their emotions are different to yours.

brainstorm77
02-28-2010, 03:30 PM
I've never been jealous of others writers who have found success. I figure they worked hard for it and I'm happy for them.

brokenfingers
02-28-2010, 03:43 PM
To all you folks who are claiming you never feel jealous because it's counterproductive or illogical...I apologize in advance, you may snitch on me to the mods, but I just have to say:

Bullhockey.

Or maybe you're just so thoroughly indulging in the other 6 Deadly Sins that you don't have time left for that one? Hmm? Is that it? Maybe Pride or Lust or Gluttony have just overpowered poor little Jealousy? Is that the case.

Of course we feel jealous. We are Human. Well, I assume we all are. I probably shouldn't jump to conclusions around here, though. Some of you seem to know an awful lot about the FeyFolk and Succubis and squirrels and such...so maybe we all aren't.

But anyway. Humans feel jealous. And if you really, honestly, truly, have never felt even a twinge of envy when a fellow writer who is at least not THAT much better than you are gets 5 frickin' full requests when you have a big fat ZERO...

Well, if that's true, then maybe you should learn how to feel jealous. Seriously. Go out and study up on it. Because jealousy is a pretty damn good motivation to give to one of your characters, and if you've never felt it yourself, then how are you going to make it believable in your story?

Geez. Of course we all feel jealousy. The plot revolves around how you deal with it. Self-improvement...or murder? Hmm....Nope. Sorry.

We're all born with the same base range of emotions just as we're all born with the same base range of tastebuds on our tongues. But that doesn't mean we all like the same things or act the same way once we grow.

Do I get jealous? Of course I do. I'm human. But I don't get jealous at other writers who achieves something. Like I said, my goals and my accomplishments of them have nothing to do with them or their accomplishments.

And even if there are limited resources we're competing for (a contest or a publishing slot or an agent etc.) if they get it and I don't - great for them. I assume they earned it, but even if they just got lucky - so what? I've been around long enough and experienced enough to know that that's just how it goes sometimes.

My happiness and sense of worth are not tied in any way to my writing or my hopes for publication. I enjoy writing. And I'll do whatever is within my power to improve my skills and tell a story others will want to read.

But I sure don't feel like someone's taken anything from me or has gotten something that should've gone to me if they become published. If anything, it makes me happier. If nobody was becoming published or getting agents, then I'd be worried. I'd feel it might be impossible to achieve.

I guess it's a subjective thing. But don't assume everybody believes or acts like you do. Or that we all feel the same provided the same stimuli.

As for me - if somebody gets that agent or sweet publishing deal? Great! Hurrah for them! I love it when they do.

They haven't taken anything from me, nor have they taken something that should've been rightfully mine. In no way have they stopped me from accomplishing the goals I've set for myself.

So, no, I don't get jealous when other writers get good deals etc.

frisco
02-28-2010, 11:23 PM
I can say i've never been jealous of other writers. I might get frustrated, depressed or pissed off when things arn't going well, but I keep that seperate from other peoples accomplishments. If anything I get inspired when someone else is successful. It tends to motivate me to continue.

mkcbunny
02-28-2010, 11:30 PM
To all you folks who are claiming you never feel jealous because it's counterproductive or illogical...I apologize in advance, you may snitch on me to the mods, but I just have to say:

Bullhockey.

Or maybe you're just so thoroughly indulging in the other 6 Deadly Sins that you don't have time left for that one? Hmm? Is that it? Maybe Pride or Lust or Gluttony have just overpowered poor little Jealousy? Is that the case.

Of course we feel jealous. We are Human. Well, I assume we all are. I probably shouldn't jump to conclusions around here, though. Some of you seem to know an awful lot about the FeyFolk and Succubis and squirrels and such...so maybe we all aren't.

But anyway. Humans feel jealous. And if you really, honestly, truly, have never felt even a twinge of envy when a fellow writer who is at least not THAT much better than you are gets 5 frickin' full requests when you have a big fat ZERO...

Well, if that's true, then maybe you should learn how to feel jealous. Seriously. Go out and study up on it. Because jealousy is a pretty damn good motivation to give to one of your characters, and if you've never felt it yourself, then how are you going to make it believable in your story?

Geez. Of course we all feel jealousy. The plot revolves around how you deal with it. Self-improvement...or murder? Hmm....

I disagree. Jealousy seems driven by thinking that the other person doesn't deserve their success. It's healthy to be competitive and want the same level of success, but that's different from jealousy or envy, which seem to focus on the other person and not yourself. The question is, do you respond to that other person's success by looking inward for improvement or outward with resentment?

mkcbunny
02-28-2010, 11:34 PM
Another thing:

I get really, really excited when I see writers working in offbeat realms who are successful or acclaimed. Because that gives me hope for a wider market. Maybe I might feel differently if I were working in a more financially viable genre. But as it stands, I root for anyone in the weird, cross-genre literary field.

HorsebackWriter
03-01-2010, 01:53 AM
Great thread.

Do I feel *envious*, sometimes, of other writers being agented or published before me? Sure. But not in a way that aims negative emotions toward them.

I make sure to remind myself that, right now, it's their turn. One day it'll be my turn, and my job is to keep working toward that day in a manner befitting the eventual accomplishment.

I feel genuine happiness when someone gets an agent, because I feel the "we're all in this together" feeling -- I know the crazy-hard work it takes to reach the next level and I can appreciate that in other writers. And I feel hope, too, that the goal is possible because those other writers are evidence of that.

Jealousy is the perfect situation for the saying "It's the journey, not the destination". Take me, for example: bopping down Query Road for a year now with my YA ms (with 32 requests -- 20 fulls, 12 partials, more self-editing of ms based on dead-ringer feedback, to land exclusive revs with an agent, only for me to pull the ms bec. of a bad fit, ms now rewritten, and still waiting to hear on subs, still getting requests) I've learned *SO* much about myself, both shortcomings and strengths, lacks and abundances, in my way of thinking and even in my character that I wouldn't have learned with instant gratification.

That said, I honestly wouldn't trade in the past year (the journey) for an agent OR publication (the destination). This trial by fire is exactly what I needed, a kind of seasoning, if you will.

So, maybe some of us have more to learn in the limbo in between. Maybe we need to develop perseverance, patience, confidence, etc., before we reach our destinations.

Jealousy is a normal, human emotion. It's what one does with it that matters in the end.

Learn, grow, persevere, believe.

Em

HorsebackWriter
03-01-2010, 03:44 AM
P.S. Just hope my post didn't come across as bragging, because that wasn't the intent. It's been tough, the fire hot and the trial long.

While I'm here again, let me add some hope: I think the best antivenin for jealousy, hopelessness or despair is writing the next book. No matter what happens with the book of the present, as writers we are so lucky because we always get a second --third -- fiftieth -- chance.

Em, who goes back to editing her next ms, winks. (What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment. Some call it Query Hell. I say, ROAD TRIP!)

Vespertilion
03-01-2010, 06:09 AM
*is jealous*

Mystic Blossom
03-01-2010, 07:52 PM
I get jealous ALL THE TIME. And lately it's been particularly bad, because I get jealous of people who have even a teeny bit more success than me, even if they've been at this way longer than I've been. For example, a girl who's graduated from my school a year before me got published in the same lit mag as me (but in a different issue), and her story was featured in a review, and mine wasn't. It was insane how I was nearly foaming at the mouth at that. But it was good, because it gave me the chance to see how silly I was. No one was saying my story wasn't good by default, or making any comparisons between us.

It also made me realize that once I start measuring my writing in "success," rather than how meaningful it is to me, it automatically has less of a chance at succeeding. Publishers and editors, whether consciously or subconsciously, appreciate writing more when they can tell you had the time of your life writing it, probably because you're likely to work harder if you enjoy what you're doing! When I really sit down and think about it, the pieces that have had the most success, that have gotten the best reactions, are pieces that I had a blast writing. If you really love what you're doing (but maintain a realistic view), it will pay off.

Cybernaught
03-02-2010, 10:00 PM
I don't get jealous. Not trying to say that I'm impervious to the emotion, but I realize that every author has their own voice and each gets published for different reasons. I know that some stories I've had accepted probably beat out far better stories than my own.

Of course, I never complain to anyone about that when it happens. :tongue

Phaeal
03-02-2010, 11:16 PM
I really think we're talking envy here, not jealousy, but it's the same eitehr way.


As I was taught (by the NUNS, who know their sins):

You ENVY people for having what you don't have.

You are JEALOUS of what you do have, which you fear that others will take away.

Hence, Othello is jealous, specifically that one of these damn Venetians will make off with his wife.

Hence, Iago is envious, of all the goodies that Othello has.