The Green-Eyed Fish (Okay! I Admit It…I’m Jealous)

 

When my writer friends get published, I’m happy.

 

Jealous Fish - sig

 

Seriously.

I send them cyber hugs and virtual cake and buy their books.

Lucy, over at Blonde Write More, wrote a post about becoming jealous of your friends when they have success in the writing world and how to stay positive about yourself.

I enjoyed this post, but it made me realize how not jealous I am.

I’m genuinely happy for my fellow writers.

Although, one of her points was developing “writing confidence issues”. Ah. Yes. Those.

That’s when I realized I am jealous.

I’m a big, jealous, green-eyed Lemon Shark.

But it’s not other writers’ successes.

I’m envious of their freedom to fuck up. Of their risk-taking. Their ability to knock the internal critic off their shoulder and just go for it.

Just write.

I’m forever holding myself back. Hesitant of hitting ‘publish’ on my blog. Self-editing as I work on my novels. Riddled with self-doubt as I type.

So, yes, gentle readers, I’m envious of you.

For not caring what others think. For giving yourself a break. For swearing on your blog. For writing whatever the hell you want to write.

I’m getting there. Slowly. *deep breath* Just write.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you get jealous of other writers’ successes? If not, is there anything other writers do that you’re envious of? Can you be supportive and jealous at the same time? 

 

* Yes, a shark is a fish. That’s not a typo.

 

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20 thoughts on “The Green-Eyed Fish (Okay! I Admit It…I’m Jealous)

  1. Hmm. Just cause we hit publish doesn’t mean we’re not riddled with self doubt or don’t care what others think. I care, I always care, I am PLAGUED by self doubt. Jesus, I nearly quit writing this week myself. Yeah, seriously. Because I think ny stuff’s shit, full of Carolyn dialogue and cringe worthy description. I genuinely don’t know how I’ll ever publish. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I won’t even finish. But don’t mistake pressing publish on a blog for confidence or self belief. I don’t have any of that, but I still press publish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Self doubt is indeed a heinous asshole of a monster. But sometimes it’s best to write from the heart, click publish from the heart, hope for the best and not put so much attention to it lol. I think you should publish though, and this is a stranger from the Internet talking lol. Seriously though, self doubt happens and every time I face it, I push it back and say what next. It draws a line on the sand and I pop its bubble and stand an inch from its nose. I ask, what now? I don’t care if I’m afraid, I don’t care if there’s doubt, i will do this and unlike you (this is me talking to my self doubt) I won’t flinch. Keep pressing publish and keep being you 😀

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  2. I have spent 18 months getting jealous of other writers and then after 3 weeks of non stop motivational podcasts, some soul searching and a stroke of luck I decided to concentrate on me, my writing and my characters. I feel like I am getting my 💩 together!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You are a brilliant writer. Always the most appropriate word and an original turn of phrase that captures your intent precisely. The time you take to perfect every little pirouette is worth it. Your readers appreciate it, but yes, you probably could allow yourself a little breathing space.

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  4. Self-editing is a bit of a double edged sword. Unless you can do it, and will do it, you end up with drivel. On the other hand, overdo it and work is stiff, devoid of character…or just stays unpublished.
    I’m not jealous of other writers’ successes… they remind me that I might get there too 🙂 I do often think, ‘I wish I’d written that…’, but what makes you keep on writing is the hope that someone might think that of your work….even if you never know 🙂 .

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  5. A shark is a fish? (Yes…kidding) I’m always envious of people who accomplish their dreams. I believe a modest level of envy is healthy bc it makes me ask myself the question, “if they can do it, why can’t I?” So be a little jealous, Sarah! It’s perfectly fine. 🙂

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  6. The PC answer is to say that you’re 100% supportive of everyone and that jealousy is banished to the naughty corner NEVER to come out. The reality is that we’re human and jealousy or feelings of jealousy will happen because we see something someone else has and want that for ourselves. The tidbit is that the thing we like, we’d love to handpick, in other words we don’t want the baggage that comes with that thing and in that sense jealousy is often myopic. But if we’re honest, there are aspects of other people we can and do envy even if it’s hard to admit it. In my case, I genuinely enjoy supporting different people and wishing them well. I am always happy when they have success and jealousy doesn’t always kick in, but when it does it normally has to do when I look at my numbers, my sales, and other things. I see the effort put into the work, in promoting a community, in not shoving my work down people’s throats, in making people smile, in being me, and the topic that haunts me, that kills me is the lack of sustainability. In February, I had 11 blog posts, several videos, over 1,000 tweets/retweets, activity on Instagram, content shared on Google Plus, and several other things in different places. I was blessed with a couple of reviews, which was the highlight of the month, although I also had a whopping 3 sales. That’s what I mean about sustainability and not having it. Yesterday I had an event where I read/performed 15 poems, 5 songs, and had my books for sale. I was able to sell 6 books. Then I see other people, and I see their success and I get genuinely happy. That’s for the people that are genuine, that follow a vision and share something unique and real. But on the flipside are people who incessantly post links to their books, they say buy me, buy me, buy me and again, buy me. And I read their work, and am left lukewarm in my reaction. And I see them sell. Every interaction is talking about their work, themselves, and it is not a dialogue, it is a monologue or more so a sales pitch… and still they sell. But I think to myself, am I willing to sacrifice who I am and turn the sales noise up in favor of being me? The answer is a no. I am me whatever that means. So for me, the takeaway is to try different things, put more effort, put myself out there, and hope and pray for people to give me a chance. Try to gain momentum, try to reach more people, try to give love and support and make people smile enough for them to give me a chance to be part of their library and occasional daily entries. Every day I look for new ways to dance beyond my comfort zone and still be comfortable in my skin and at the very least, my creative work has allowed me to do just that. To discover myself. To be more me. To not care what people think while still caring for everyone. Can you be supportive and jealous at the same time? Sure, but why invite the crappy aspect of it all. In the end, jealousy can and does happen, especially when you look to the side. Which brings me to a small epiphany, I think that most of us aren’t jealous… we’re frustrated to some degree with something in our work and confuse it with jealousy because we have mixed feelings, positive in regards to other people and negative in regards to ourselves, which might seem like jealousy, but is really us just being human. So here’s to being able to be as happy for ourselves than we are of others, because in the end, that’s what will set us free. (Btw, sorry for the long ass comment lol)

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  7. Sure I’m jealous. Mostly of the bits I don’t or can’t do. Of those who get picked up and those who bestride the indie world with confidence building a marketing base that I’m clueless about. Of those clever thoughtful engaging posts that make me think. But bottom line is I just want to write stuff and for the rest well if it happens it happens. If not I’ll just keep writing.

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  8. being supportive and feeling jealous are not mutually exclusive, it is just one more example why we humans are so fascinating for we can simultaneously experience what are not perfectly aligned (to say the least) emotions.

    jealousy, in my opinion, is a reflexive emotion, that is, it is there before we even consciously think about the other’s success. the question is how do we hold and let go of it. likewise we need to be conscious of our “supportive” actions – that is, what motivates it? could it be some ingrained sense of obligation that drives one to act in order to be the “superior” one?

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    • Humans indeed are a complex random and zany bunch. That’s why things like love and hate can be so similar when taken out of context.

      I think your thoughts on jealousy are spot on. The human mind works faster than our consciousness and our subconscious even faster. As for what drives us to action, lord knows what the real reason is. But still, best to be supportive enough so that it becomes a natural response, nes ce pas? Cheers

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  9. When I see others publish, I like to think of it as, if-they-can-do-it-then-it-can-be-done. But I can also feel anxious, placing more pressure on myself until I stop and remember that I love to write, I love to create. I think that’s why I had a satisfying week. I got off the dizzy-busy merry-go-round and just created and connected. I remembered to go to that tiny place that feeds me and not get lost in the big world around me. But we are all riddled with doubts and anxieties and even jealousy. We all have green days. Find your lemon shark feeding frenzy and let ‘er rip! ❤

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  10. You have the best comment section of any writing blog I follow. I always pick up some tips here, and today is no different. I liked what a previous commenter said about jealousy is maybe more a feeling of frustration directed at oneself.

    Of course, your blog has a lively comment section because you promote comments and encourage openness. I always feel comfortable leaving comments here.

    As for success in general… If I can find a matching pair of socks in the morning, I consider myself a success. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I get equally excited for my writer friends when they hit that publish button and buy their books as soon as I am able (which is getting to be quite the scary to read pile, which is why I am so glad most are available in e-version and, therefore, less likely to kill me by toppling over…) I do however get incredibly envious that they have at least reached the end of their project and get to move on to the next idea (I don’t, however, envy the anxiety or panic I know they feel hitting that publish button). I write very slow (darn day job & parenting responsibility – I feel I should be doing this full time by now with a live-in nanny) but I know the ending before I get started so it gets frustrating when my characters dawdle getting where they are going. Move it people! I have at least three more books in the back of my mind that want to be written.

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  12. I don’t really get jealous, but it’s very humbling to read such good fiction posted on other blogs. There is a lot of talent out there and it makes me realize I have a long way to go. So not really jealousy, but it’s still a self-doubting reaction.

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  13. I am jealous of my good buddy, Dani. She sells more books than I do without a single finger lifted toward marketing. I know why. Her book is in a niche market. It’s LGBT (103K books on Amazon) vs my SFF (269K). She’s also a different personality type who will look you in the eye and say, “Hey, why haven’t you posted a review to Amazon yet? Get on it!” Me? I’m terrified of inconveniencing people. She’s also unmarried and childless (and almost 10 years younger than me) which allows her to get out and mingle in the community more, make more friends, tell more people to buy her book. She has more connections than I do. Am I happy for her? Yes! Definitely! Am I jealous? Oh yeah. I wished my books sold without any form of marketing (beyond personality). Does it bother me enough to do change something with the way I’m doing things? Nope.

    (BTW, I saw the “For swearing on your blog.” and smiled because you swore on your blog. *giggle*)

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  14. You have made me think as you always do. I may feel sad, a little down but I don’t think I feel jealous when I hear of other’s successes.Usually I know the work they do and I have an opinion that it is worthy of accolades and I give them happily or due to differences in taste (a subject all on its own) I may not think them worthy and that is where I have the real problem. But I am getting off track here. Self-doubting – we all do it whether we are published or not, whether we are good or not and let me tell you Sarah, you’re good.

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