Thursday 4 November 2021

Professional jealousy

We talked about this recently at a Society of Authors Manchester meeting. I’ve come across other people talking about it before.  I’ve certainly felt it and I’ve been on the receiving end of it. It is often worse when you know the successful writer personally.

Some examples

  • A writer whose work you’ve edited tells you her latest novel has sold 100 copies in a few days
  • An author you’ve mentored gets an agent and you’re as yet unagented
  • A member of your critique group gets a book deal yet you know their work has quite a long way to go
  • A colleague gets an award and you helped them to get there
  • You come second in a competition that your writing friend wins.


What it does to you

It eats you up. You actually have to force yourself to congratulate the other writer. You feel inadequate.  You see yourself as an imposter. You may even feel like giving up.


Changing your mind-set

This may take some self-discipline but it is worth remembering:

·         No two creative practitioners will have the same journey.

·         Sure you have some rejections but remember your successes as well.

·         If they can do this it is possible for you as well.

·         You may ultimately be able to achieve even more than they have.

And remember to smile anyway – the act of smiling even when you don’t feel like it makes you feel like smiling. Offer your congratulations even if that is hard.

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