The green eyed monster

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Since I started writing, I realized that my jealousy over other authors has increased tenfold.

Every time I open a magazine and see yet another celebrity boasting their novel, I cringe. We live in a world where fame gives you everything, including an elusive book deal thousands of us can only dream of. I doubt those celebrities even had to write a query letter!
On the other hand, I’m sure those books written by actors/singers/TV presenters are actually good, because they can afford a top notch editor, and these novels will succeed too because they’re pushed by the well-oiled marketing machine deployed by a big publisher.

I am jealous of those authors who have found tremendous success thanks to a (but it’s my personal opinion of course) very crappy novel.
Come on, don’t be shy, I’m sure you can all think of at least one book you hated but that the majority loved. My mother, an avid reader, read a book recently, one that had won a prestigious prize (sorry, can’t remember which) and she said to me “it’s the first time I enjoyed a winner of this prize, they’re usually boring and complicated.”. I hear you, Mum.

As for my fellow writers, the ones stumbling on the same horny path as me, yes I envy you. You are more talented, more successful, more creative, smarter, luckier…better than me.
But since I have yet to meet another author who hasn’t been friendly, I am deeply ashamed of myself.

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Indeed.

So where does this jealousy come from? Come to think of it, envy is probably a better term than jealousy, the aspiration of obtaining someone else’s life and successes. The grass is always greener and all that…

So here are a few tips if like me, you keep comparing yourself to others…and losing.

  1. One novel cannot satisfy 100% of its readers. If not even Stephen King or JK Rowling can manage it, how can I mere mortal, hope to achieve it?
  2. I re-read the nice comments left by happy readers and reviewers. They always give me a much needed boost, and a kick up the backside.
  3. I keep clear off the internet for a while. The web drains my energy and feeds on my uncertainty. I distract myself any other way I can and enjoy my family all the more.
  4. I remember I can only get better. It might take a while (okay, it will take a while) but I’m a better writer than I was a year ago, and I will be better again in a year’s time. The only way is up.

Maybe there are no bad books. Maybe they just need to find their readers.

 

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7 thoughts on “The green eyed monster

  1. Oh, there are definitely bad books and the people that read them and proclaim to like them are the ones that think they need to do so. That it’s hip or whatever. Sometimes I start to read a book and my inner critic sits back, looks over the rim of her half-moon glasses, takes a drag off her cheroot, and grumbles “Oh, honey, no. Who told you you could write? ‘Cause, they lied. They lied so bad to you, baby.”

    *shrug* My inner critic didn’t do that on your book, so you’ve got a leg up!

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  2. All art, like pain, is SUBJECTIVE. It’s in the eye, body and mind of the beholder. Yes, I have read some less than wonderful books, but I’ve also read amazing books by the same author. I know that each story will find its audience. Each piece of art will speak to someone.

    Get advice and help from each other. Seek out conscientious beta readers and friends that “tell you like it is”. Honesty should never be cruel, but should always be the “Prime Directive” of anyone that reads your work. Once you have the information you will be able to decide what makes sense and what doesn’t with regard to the feedback of your story. The story is ultimately yours; do what feels right so you are proud and happy with what you’ve accomplished.

    Just remember the word: SUBJECTIVE. Opinions are based on a person’s own experiences as they relate to art in whatever form they are reviewing.

    There is hope for your dreams to be fulfilled. Stay strong, stay grounded, keep perfecting your abilities and talents.

    Jill Corley
    Beta reader

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw thanks Caroline. You’re my friend, of course I am going to encourage you. Keep doing what you’re doing. It will get better for you. (I don’t use this very often so I don’t know how to send the hearts/faces) LOL, me-tech challenged for sure. But you get the drift.

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  3. I think it’s normal to look at other people and envy them for some reason or another, whether it’s their job, books, business etc. Life is hard and when you see others who already have that success or life you’re trying to achieve I think it’s natural to feel a bit of envy. I know I’ve had some cases of envy myself as well. Then again I do believe or actually hope that those celebrities with the books that sell also did something to achieve that status. Sure once they are famous it probably seems like things happen effortless, although I wonder if that is even true, but they did have to do something to get at that point.

    And those are great tips! I know how negative reviews can get an authors down, but yes not every book is for everyone and often negative reviews can even help your credibility as every book get’s negative reviews. And reading some positive feedback or comments sounds like a good tip to feel better about yourself, focus on the positive instead of the negative. And I love tip number 4 and I think it’s applicable to a lot of things, you can only get better even though it might take a lot of time and effort. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one with the case of envy. I think as long as envy works as a drive to better ourselves rather than make us bitter, it’s not so bad. Surrounding yourself with encouraging and friendly people, whether in real life or online, is also incredibly useful!

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