Green Eyed Monsters Aren’t So Monstrous

It has happened again.  A good friend of mine has been published.  I am so, over the moon happy for that person and all of the others who have accomplished this.  I truly am.  But every now and again, something ugly rears up and snaps at me a little bit.  I’m jealous.  Envious.

It’s not like they don’t deserve any praise or acclaim.  It’s not that they aren’t amazing writers who should have been published.  They absolutely are.  My envy is not a judgment on them and I don’t begrudge them a single moment of their success.  I JUST WANT IT TOO.

That’s wrong, isn’t it?

Except that it is not wrong.  It’s motivation.

I have yet to slash anyone’s tires for publishing before me.  I never grumble that they should never have been published or wish them bad and I would never want to.  Everybody has their own personal journey to success and when I watch people reach theirs before I have reached mine, I consider it a lesson.

That lesson?  It can happen.  These people are real, flesh and blood people, that I know personally, not mythical beings who don’t exist within my reality.  They have found the right path to their dreams and I can too.  While, for a moment the idea that somebody else has achieved my dream before I have might throw me off, that comes more from a place of competition.  And there are a ton of books out there and plenty of creative ideas.  Hence, no competition needed.

That jealousy you’re feeling?  Turn that into what it really should be – the fire under your bottom that keeps you moving.  Wish you were published?  Sit down and write a few pages.  Wish your lawn looked as good as your neighbor’s lawn?  Well, start up the lawn mower!

What you absolutely do not want to do is to bemoan your existence for hours on end, wishing that somebody else didn’t have the success that you want just as badly as they did.  There is no advancement without movement.

So, quit your whining (and by your, I mean mine) and get to writing/editing/submitting your work/ doing whatever it is that is going to get you one step closer to your goal.  Because the only thing whining ever changed was making people like you less.

This has been a motivational post that came from out of the blue from the portion of my brain that is a cheerleader.  Turn those lemons to lemonade people!

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2 thoughts on “Green Eyed Monsters Aren’t So Monstrous

  1. I love this perspective and “positive spin” on things. I can’t say I’ve ever been envious of someone for getting published (because I only know one person who has been, and he’s only an acquaintance, and it was years and years ago), but I DO envy the writing abilities of those who are so much better than I am. I read their words and wish with all my soul that I could write like that.

    But you’re right–keeping that goal in front of me, remembering that I’m working toward trying to be that good, IS helpful and motivating. I do love books and articles on writing, and I read as many as I can get my hands on. But I also learn from simply reading those writers I admire and long to emulate (not in a plagiarism kind of way, but in a I-want-to-be-able-to-write-that-well kind of way).

    And I have no doubt in my mind that you will be published one day. None whatsoever. And then I’m totally claiming that I knew you when. 😉

    1. Sorry it took me so long to comment on this post!!! Things have been pretty busy around here and somehow this slipped through the cracks.

      Of course – we all learn from those who we admire, those who came before us, and we should. That’s how we learn what kind of writers we truly are and that’s how we continue to better ourselves. I sometimes make an exercise out of emulating specific aspects of a writer’s style – taking something I like about the way that person does their more melancholy scenes, for instance – and fitting it to my voice. You can learn a lot from playing around with craft that way.

      Thank you so much. God, I hope you’re right. Sometimes, while mucking through it all, it doesn’t always feel like that. So hearing anybody tell me that they believe that much in me is a gift. You have no idea. 🙂

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