J Is For Jealousy

For the Blogging From A to Z Challenge I’m doing you all a huge favor and filling you in on the 26 Things To Hate About Writing.** I’m hoping by the end of April, I will have convinced all of you not to indulge in the wild insanity of becoming a writer. If I can save even one person from offering themselves up in sacrifice to the mad and fickle word gods, I will have done some good in this world.

Check out each letter’s post here.

JEALOUSY

You wrote a book. Awesome. But wait, Super Bestselling Author wrote twenty books. You published your book! But Super Bestselling Author published thirty books. You sold some books! Super Bestselling Author sold one million books. Super Bestselling Author lives in a mansion, writing books, being waited on by servants, and sleeps on piles of money. While you, lowly hack, still have to go to your day job to put food on the table because the revenue from your books can only buy beef jerky (unless you’re really into beef jerky, then I guess life is good).

One of the worst things about writing is jealousy. Consider these facts:

– Someone out there writes more than you, faster, and better.
– Another writer has sold billions of books and pays all their bills with their writing money.
– There are writers whose name everybody knows, and they’re well-loved, and adored.
– Some writers have so many books published they don’t know the number anymore.

I took a look at other professions and found out something interesting. It seems there’s doctors out there struggling through residencies and other doctors who have built successful, profitable solo practices. There’s lawyers who are mostly public defenders and some who have gotten hugely successful and famous for defending celebrities and notable people. There’s chefs who have their own TV shows and those who toil away, nameless, in small restaurant kitchens. It’s almost like…the love of the craft and the desire to excel in it to your own personal satisfaction is what’s important. That makes it sound like comparing yourself to others only stifles you and takes away your joy, and implies that it’s not a race or competition.

Weird.


**Disclaimer: If you haven’t figured it out, these posts are pure satire and simply a humorous way to vent my writing frustrations. No offense is intended to anyone. Please, become or continue being a writer. It’s awesome, I swear. It’s super…duper, awesome…heh heh.

35 thoughts on “J Is For Jealousy

  1. Well said. And be proud if you can afford the beef jerky! That stuff’s getting so expensive we started making our own. ~grin~ All hail the dehydrator.

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  2. I have a love/hate relationship with book stores. On good days I go in and I see all these books by established authors and I dream of my name on the spine. Then there are the dark days when I get so jealous seeing the same that I exit the store in the foulest of moods. My poor wife cannot comprehend these moods, thinking I am just in there looking for something to read.

    Then I go into the Dollar Store and see all these hard back books in racks for $2 & $3 and I think how would I feel about my book being peddled for such a bargain basement price? I know, I am a total mess. but there is just so much to all this business that those unencumbered (Like my wife, a hair stylist) cannot fathom. So glad to have a compatriot who thinks about all the things I do Megan! Great job with all of these posts!

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    1. We live in such a weird time too, where brick and mortar bookstores still exist, but not like they used to, and are slowly dwindling. Now it’s about watching your rankings on Amazon, and trying to get up the charts so your book is more visible. Downloads are where it’s at and the price (and royalties) are much lower. It’s all about adjusting with technology, but that also changes what our benchmarks of success are.

      The truth is there are few household names out there as far as authors go–and I mean, authors who are known even by people who don’t read their stuff. While it would be great to become one of them, most days I try to just be happy I get to play in the same sandbox as them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am old enough that I got a good sense of the traditional method. I think I need to release that dream and reassess with your reality in mind.

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  3. Better to keep ploughing our own path. If we look at the farmer in the next field, we might lose track of where we’re planting our seeds and then have a bad harvest… OK, not sure where I’m going with this, but this was a funny post!

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    1. It’s the truth though. “Keep your eyes on your own paper,” as they say. Copying others only gets you in trouble.

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  4. Jealousy is hard work! First one has to find what exactly one has achieved (um not much), then find what Superwriter has done and how many books has s/he written, how many are best sellers, how much money s/he is making uff, too energy intensive! best get back to being a couch potato 🙂

    Nilanjana
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. I think it’s better to use that as fuel–we only get to where Superwriter is if we fight for it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!

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  5. Well, you know? My book is doing so poorly that everybody is doing better then me. And since envying everybody would be too much of a stress and would certainly be too tiresome… I’ll just leave it 😉

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

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    1. Honestly, I’ve got book that do terrible and books that do okay-ish, but I’m still writing because I love writing, so I guess I can’t take my own advice!

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  6. So weird. But a really good point too. Comparing ourselves to anyone leads to nothing good. (Unless it’s motivating, then great. But it’s usually not.)
    Doree Weller

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    1. Yes, too often we use it as a tool to beat ourselves up instead of taking inspiration from it. We need to turn that jealousy into something productive!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to always joke about hiking the entire length of the Appalachian Trail and writing an article and making enough for a new pair of boots (I wore out 2 pair) while someone like Bill Bryson only hiked 1/4 of the trail and writes “A Walk in the Woods” and makes a fortune.

    http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2017/04/j-is-for-jupiter-and-evening-paddle.html

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    1. That’s awesome though, that you hiked the trail! It’s funny who gets the accolades and who doesn’t. I think a lot of times it’s just down to fate or luck.

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  8. I do struggle with this, even though I know it’s silly. I think it’s the overachiever in me…

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF – Weird Things in Folktales

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    1. It’s hard not to struggle with it. We all go through it from time to time.

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  9. Bestselling Author tried telling me he doesn’t, in fact, sleep on piles of money while servants fawn over him. But this proves he’s lying. I knew it! 😉

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    1. Psssh! Everyone knows every successful author has a swimming pool full of money somewhere at one of their mansions!

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  10. Writers are their own worst enemies.

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    1. Definitely, we don’t even need anyone else to beat us up!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The problem is I’m actually a far better writer than 90% of the ‘successful’ writers. Damn, I just looked in the mirror and my face is green. it must have been something I ate.

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  12. So true. As Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” But it’s still hard not to do it!!

    https://barbedwords.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/j-is-for-joan-rivers-and-a-cat-atozchallenge-cats/

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  13. Jealousy spouts from comparisons. And comparing kills creativity…at least for me. So, I hum along to my own tune:)
    J is for JOYN

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    1. Yes, it’s a good idea to focus on your own work and accomplishments!

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  14. Jealousy can be good, as long as you don’t let it control you, and use it to keep trying.

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    1. Yes, it’s like anger in that way. Used constructively, you can move mountains.

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      1. That’s too much work… I’ll just move this pebble.

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  15. I’m jealous of the writer I think I am

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