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.
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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.