The nicest of my friends can become competitive in the right situation. It's one thing to covet a publishing deal or successful writing career of a peer, but jealousy is an unattractive and negative emotion.
Today I am asking, how can writers use small doses of jealousy, however mild, to our advantage and turn it into something positive?
Jealous of the time another writer has to spend on writing?
So many hours, so little time? This is an easy one - make time. It doesn't have to involve a career break. How you tried watching less crap on TV? How many hours do you waste on Facebook? Don't sleep in so late at the weekends... there are loads of ways you can save half an hour a day and donate the time to your writing.
These writers you might be so envious might not have as much of a full life as you either. No one wants to write 24/7, surely??
Envious of the earnings of another writer?
All may not be what it seems... Appearing successful can make you seem a lot more successful than you actually are. Some would argue this will bring you yet more success. This is an example of how this works at a school reunion. Why can't this apply to writing?
Also, work on submitting smarter to boost your income. Are you following the guidelines of competitions, agents and publishers before you submit anything? Are you writing to the judges? A top tip for those entering writing competitions includes finding out who the judges are are write for them! What's their genre? What kind of style do they like to write? Chances are they'll enjoy your piece more if it's similar to theirs.
Someone else always seems to have the great ideas?
Ideas don't make themselves very often, but they do breed. Get brainstorming and you might be surprised what comes out.
Jealousy. Envy. It's more common among writers than you'd imagine. Read what Carolyn Bass from Huffington Post has to say about how bothered she gets when other authors receive publishing deals for books she deems inferior to hers or friends of hers. #LitChat dedicated a whole session to that subject.
Let's not turn this ugly emotion into resentment. Let's support each other in this lonely vocation and keep celebrating our mutual success in the huge potential market. Don't worry, you can do it without spending a penny (or dime), and let's think positive!
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