Monday, July 26, 2010

Jealousy isn't always what it seems

I wanted to say thank you for all the nice comments and emails received on my post: A Day in the Life of a Querier on the Guide To Literary Agents blog on Friday.

I received an interesting email from a reader. She asked how I dealt with the jealousy of hearing other writers succeed on Twitter and other blogs.

This reader also said she felt a division between agented or published writers and those of us still in the trenches. I didn't dispute that. I think you do band together based on your experiences, and there's nothing malicious about it (usually). It just...happens.

I couldn't stop thinking about her question, so I decided to blog about it.

In my query post on Chuck's blog, I made a tongue-n-cheek comment that after I received a request from an agent I was less jealous hearing others successes on Twitter.

But I don't think JEALOUS is the right word!

The right word would be FEAR.

Fear of what you ask?

* Fear of never feeling good enough

*Fear of never having an agent and/or publisher believe in you enough (and love your work enough) to take you on

*Fear of never experiencing the bliss of having your dreams coming true

Or as bloggy buddy, Tahereh put it so succinctly in one of her posts: You worry if there's enough room for you, too.

Whoever it was that said there are only two emotion in the world: LOVE and FEAR was spot on!


Every emotion can boil down to those two things, and so it's important to recognize your underlying feelings, acknowledge them, and then keep chugging along!

25 comments:

Jen said...

I feel you on this post! Fear is exactly what I feel, never jealous. Most of the time I'm very excited about those who got a book deal, just seeing someone close to me I saw their struggles and things they went through and if they can survive I know I can too!

Great post!

Janet Johnson said...

Great post. I think Taherah is right . . . I just want there to be room for me, too. :)

Hardygirl said...

Great post! I do think it's important to all stick together--no matter where we are in the process. There is so much to learn from everybody at every stage.

And, no matter where you are--it's all about the work that you are putting out there.

Plus, published writers still have to jump through hoops to sell their second, third, fourth . . . books. I'm not sure that it ever gets easy in this biz!

Fear and love. Yeah. That about sums it up!

sf

Matthew Rush said...

What a damned good point Christina! It really does come down to fear. I find that for me if I just simply BELIEVE that my time will come, with enough hard work and determination, then I can love those published and agented authors who do lend a helping hand from time to time.

Nicole MacDonald said...

Yep - it's one of those things you have to shove past. There is NO competition. This is between me and myself and that's it!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh, I love this post. I read another one this morning about dealing with jealousy. But you're right. It isn't about being jealous. It's about fearing that your writing isn't good enough, and fearing that it will never be good enough no matter how hard you try.

Lisa and Laura said...

AWESOME POST! Fear is the perfect label for the emotion. We are all writing with the same (or very similar) goals in mind so there are always going to be times when you worry that another writer's success will prevent your own. Thankfully a lot of really amazing good books get published every year, so there's room for all of us. I hope!

Sharlene T. said...

I think that fear is just a part of every level we have to go through... I never thought I would have any followers when I started blogging and, yet, the number is growing... (but is it me and my work/words or is it because their friends follow, too? It can't be me.)... it's our own insecurities feeding the fear... everyone seems to be so much more capable than me and have it all together)... I think it's a false back-up to potential failure but very hard to shake... good posting... come visit when you can...

Twitter: SolarChief

Writing Without Periods! said...

I think all our emotions come through one...fear. You write about it so well.
Mary

Natalie said...

YES!!! The fear doesn't get better once you're agented either (and I suspect it's still there after you get published too). I think we all worry that our hard work will never be appreciated.

Veronica Roth said...

You hit the nail right on the head. And like Natalie said, it doesn't go away; there's just something else to be afraid of. I guess we just have to find a way to reassure ourselves so that we can be truly happy for each other. Because the supportive community thing is way cooler than the fear and insecurity thing.

Andrea said...

Yes, keep chugging along!

Maddy said...

I think you nailed it. For me, jealousy is never a good thing. It's toxic, not only for the one you're projecting the jealousy on, but it's also poison for your own soul. It's ok to feel saddened that you're still in the trenches while others are moving ahead.And it's ok to be fearful, but don't let the fear paralyze you from pressing forward :)

Lourie said...

I just flashed on Dory from Finding Nemo..."just keep swimming...." Excellent post.

Bossy Betty said...

I think you are right on here!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I'm so with you on this. Perfect!

Angie said...

So, so true. I think most of my own jealousy stems from those fears. Thanks for a great post!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Absolutely brilliant!!!!!

K. M. Walton said...

Oh, Christine, I battle with the emotions linked with trying to break through...on a daily basis. This certainly hasn't been an easy journey to date.

But I just keep writing and revising and listening to the advice of great BETA readers ;) and querying and plugging along. What else can I do?

Give up?

No way. Never gonna happen. I will never give up on this dream. I can't because I want it too much. Like every cell in my body wants it...needs to see it to completion. So I will. And you will too...

Kristin said...

Never give up right?

Little Ms J said...

This is so true. Isn't fear one of the most base emotions? I love this post!

Talei said...

Absolutely true. Fear that you may not be taken seriously, fear you will not achieve that goal. I read somewhere that we should always remember the billions of readers out there and that there is room for everyone! Keep writing! And HAGD! ;)

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

Here is a big shout out from the trenches. Fear of not being good enough - that is it in a nutshell.

I have come to believe in creative karma. The more I can celebrate and support others the better chances I will have of getting the same in return.

Sandy Shin said...

Yes! This is such a great post. I feel the fear, too, many times -- of never being good enough no matter how hard I try or how long I work. But "chugging along" is the perfect way to deal with it. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I popped over here from Rachele's blog, and I wanted to say thanks for inspiring this conversation.

A year ago, I didn't know there was such a vibrant community of bloggers/writers. I am so glad to join the party and learn that the fears and insecurities I have as a writer are actually normal and common. Phew! :)