Hello everyone, today we’re discussing a wicked green-eyed-monster known as jealousy.

Admit it. We all feel it from time to time. Like when someone we know gets a huge contract, or a new book published. Especially when we’re still trying to get our own works published. When they start making connections, while we have none, or when they win an award and we have none. When they win prizes from contests and we haven’t won anything. When someone else gets the guy, or girl we wanted, ect.

Jealousy is something every person {especially writers} face at some point in time. One way or another we all end up feeling, or facing jealousy. Often times we end up on both sides of the line.

Learn to accept that no writer is perfect, and not every writer will succeed at the same pace as others.

I’ve lost count of how many writers I’ve taken under my wing at ffnet and shared my knowledge with. Because I was blunt, but respectful they’ve grown as writers and now adore receiving critiques. They live for blunt feedback, because they’ve grown thick skins and realize it’ll help improve the stories, and their overall craft.

On the flip side I’ve lost count of how many budding writers have given up on writing altogether because they received “flames” that hurt them deeper then anyone could have imagined.

Critique is meant to help writers, not hurt them. Insults stab at early writers. Especially when it’s their first feedback.

Fact: Most flames are fueled by jealousy.

jealousy-green-eyes

Some of us pour many years of grueling work into every scene of every novel, and others seem to get theirs published before we think theirs were ready. That horrible little feeling creeps in and tempts us to behave in petty ways. How often have you been tempted to write a nasty review, or to point out every little flaw, and make them seem insurmountable until no one else reads their work?

Even in critique groups, where feedback is intended to help us, people try to camouflage their viscous attacks under the guise of “critique”, yet others see it clearly for what it is.

Jealousy.

That’s a horrible feeling to have, and worst to act on. To be a professional author, you need to learn to control those urges, and rise above it. Being mean and petty only makes you look bad, and in the long run the person who suffers the most is you. It’s easy to become obsessed with trying to ruin others lives, than to face our own issues.

Time that could be spent improving our craft, and working hard to get published, is wasted on trying to make other people look bad. Guess what? They will continue to go on and gain recognition whether we try to sabotage them or not.  Some people have more charisma than others. They can connect easier to their readers than others. Some people are more knowledgeable than others. It’s a fact of life. Accept it and move on.

Don’t ruin your career before it’s even begun because of a vicious need to lash out.

Do yourself a favor and focus those frustrations and energy into learning to improve your work and your flaws instead. Change the jealousy into a stronger determination to succeed. It’ll take you a lot farther in life than wasting time on negative feelings and actions.

Sound off readers: Feel free to share some of the experiences you’ve had with jealousy. Don’t be shy. How did you handle it?

P.S. This article appears in a writers/editors collaboration here.

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About kittyb78

Catrina Barton is a licensed Kung-Fu Instructor of the Black Dragon style, and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature. Whether it's a moon-lit starry sky, or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side. Growing up no matter where she was physically, she always had at least one book in her hands and spent every free moment lost in a book. It's only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing, especially Young Adult Paranormal Romances. She is a proud member of many writing and marketing groups, and an active participant at Critique Circle and several other crit groups. Favorite personal quote: "An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement."

10 responses »

  1. Like my mom always says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep quiet.” 🙂

  2. My jealousy and nasty comments tend to be more about parenting than writing but this is a brilliant article to remind me think. As a parent you’re always judging yourself and so you pick holes in someone else’s parenting to justify your own decisions and choices. Silly, pathetic and unnecessary but oh so human! I try very hard to remember ‘context’ – you have no idea about the rest of someone’s life when you see their kids lunching on chocolate or running riot in a supermarket.

    I also have days when the most positive thing I can take from them is knowing that I made someone else feel like a better parent! 😉

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hello. Nice to see and hear from you again. 🙂 I think as parent you’ve hit the nail on the head. We can also take pride in the fact that our children are better behaved. 😛
      I’ve lost track of how many times my kids saw other kids acting out and throwing fits at a store, then turned to hubby and me and asked why their parent’s put up with it. {out of the mouths of babes, eh?}

  3. JimsGotWeb says:

    It’s not easy to take criticism, especially if it’s mean-spirited. I try to remain indifferent to the flaming crits, but it’s not easy. I’d love to lash out at them!
    Enjoyed your post.
    Thanks,
    Jim

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hi Jim. It is rough, especially for beginning writers. That’s why I make a point of keeping it in mind when I crit an obviously new writer. 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

  4. URL says:

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  5. […] Barton presents Jealousy posted at Kitty’s Inner Thoughts, saying, “Jealousy is something every person […]

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