This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge–blogging every day in the month of April (except Sundays!) with each letter of the alphabet.
When you’re an author, published or not, the best advice you can take is “keep your eyes on your own paper.” By that I mean, focus on your own work and not what other authors are doing. I don’t mean ignore what they’re writing, though. I’m not telling you to turn your back on the industry or don’t read. I mean, don’t compare your success to the successes of other authors. As soon as you start doing that, you’re going to stall yourself.
It’s hard to feel proud of your own humble work when you compare yourself to a New York Times bestselling author, if you are not yourself one. By all means read the top author’s works, for it helps you know what’s selling and shows you how the people at the top of the heap are writing–but don’t use their work as a benchmark for yourself. It’s okay to want to improve, but it’s not good to self-hate or trash your own work just because someone is better than you. There will always be authors who are better than you. You will be better than some authors, too. More important is to learn, grow, improve, and take advice. All those things are hard to do when you’re feeling lost in someone else’s shadow.
I’ve suffered plenty of jealousy over the years, sulking when other writers won the contest, got the contract, sold more, published more, got better reviews–I think it’s impossible to eradicate all jealousy from your life. But when I feel the green eyed monster trying to get loose, I remind myself of a few things:
– Someone else’s success does not invalidate your own, nor does it mean you won’t be just as successful in the future.
– Celebrating, rather than turning your nose up at the successes of others makes you feel better about yourself–and can make you friends, too!
– Feeling inferior is an opportunity to look at the inadequacies that make you feel that way so you can learn how to improve.
How about you, do you get jealous of other authors? How do you deal with it?