Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Monday, May 23, 2011

Green Looks Good On You

Envious Song of the Day: "Jealous Guy" by John Lennon

As soon as I get to work, I complete the following tasks:

1. Check my work email.

2. Complete morning bus duty.

3. Grab a coffee from my school's cafe.

4. Check out the latest deals on Publishers Marketplace.

Now, the last task pretty much determines my mood for the rest of the day. I range from: "Hey, what a cool concept. Good for them!" to "Wait a minute...I wrote something just like this..." to "Where's my name? When is it my turn??" With the latter, my tears add extra flavoring to my coffee (it's the new Splenda).

And sometimes I feel so guilty when I get those moments. Outside of any job I've ever had, the writing community is the most supportive. You always have someone giving you a high five (both IRL or electronically) when you complete revisions or even a rough draft. And when you receive bad news, it's the writers that offer their condolences when your friends and family don't quite understand. It's not like teachers do the wave for me when I write an awesome-tastic guidance lesson (which they always are, btw).

This is the time where we're supposed to tell each other to not compare ourselves to other writers. To say that our time will come one day.

But you know what? That doesn't always work for me. What does work is to allow myself to have those mixed feelings when I read about Jane Smith's 3-book deal for a dystopian vampire adventure. Because those mixed feelings are what motivate me. They make me sneak in a few spare minutes at work to complete my WIP. They make me turn off American Idol at night to knock out more revisions (and in all honesty, it hasn't been very difficult to tune out AI this season). Basically, reading about someone else's good fortune makes me get my butt in the chair. Not to prove anything to everyone else--just to prove something to me.

How do you all feel about writer jealousy? Do you think it's productive, or does it hinder your work?


Meredith McCardle said...

I think it's one of those grey areas. Jealousy can be a good motivator but it can also lead to self-destruction if you're not careful. It's human nature to feel a little jealousy, but I think that as long as you channel it into productivity like you said, you're good. :)

Karen Strong said...

I may feel a twinge for like a few moments, but then it's like "Let's Do This!" and it motivates me.

I'm from the camp Jane Smith" is not ALL that. LOL.

If she can do it then so can I! :)

Tracey Neithercott said...

When I feel it, I try to give myself a moment and then move on. Unless it's celeb with a book deal. Then I'm jealous and mad. Like when Snooki landed a book deal, I never really moved on.

Abby Stevens said...

I'm not too big on writer jealousy, but I've never been a particularly jealous person anyway. I actually get more jealous over how many followers other people have, which is so silly since followers are not equal to success, or even that people are reading your blog. :P

Alicia Gregoire said...

I've actually STOPPED reading Publisher's Marketplace because it was hurting my writing (to where I wasn't doing writing at all). So I do go through writer jealousy even as I'm all celebratory when it involves one of the bloggy friends.

And like Tracey, I never moved on from Snooki's book deal.

Racquel Henry said...

I think it's productive. Not that I don't get jealous also. I do. I'm human. However, in the end it only adds fuel to my fire. I picture myself in the same position. And, I just can't wait to get there (and we will.) :)

Anonymous said...

Agree! I think jealousy is good for me. But, I also don't read Publisher's Marketplace because I imagine that it would send me to the fetal position, cursing the Heavens. I think if you know what you can handle, it can be a great motivator.


Unknown said...

LOL, I blogged about jealousy a while ago. Funny to see we're in the same boat! And I think it can be productive! (http://monibw.blogspot.com/2011/02/deep-inside-green-eyed-monster-is.html)

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I've totally been there. I honestly stopped reading Publisher's Marketplace deals because it stressed me out to worry so much about publication. Seeing other people succeed does motivate me though and you're so right about the support we writers give each other. :)

(I was on vacation last week so please excuse the late comment!)