Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY

The great James Dashner said recently, at the LTUE conference, that jealousy is a great motivator in this business.

I wonder who was the focus of his jealously when he wrote Maze Runner. I do know that envy of JD has poked and prodded me until I'm black and blue. And again, today, I was swept away by a monsterous wave of the stuff when I heard good news for another local writer.

Am I happy for this writer? Yes. I'm exstatic, really. And is there enough room on the NYTBSA for us both? Of course. This writer is not my competition.

What do I do about my jealousy?

I RANT AND RAVE AT MY FAMILY UNTIL THEY ARE HAPPY TO HAVE ME LOCK MYSELF IN MY OFFICE to pound out my frustration on the keyboard. They're not so interested that I succeed as a writer as they are to see me remove my moody self from their peaceful existences--as long as I come out in time to make dinner.

And I'll tell you what. I may come out for only that for a while. This bug up my butt is planning on a full-body possession and it's got a good head start. I may not come out until the NBT-next big thing-is finished!

So, share with the class. How do you handle your professional jealousy? Don't even pretend you aren't affected by it. There is no lying permitted here.

Confess!

13 comments:

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Chocolate and Green Tea Fraps and killing people. That is, uh, killing people in my manuscript.

stanalei said...

And sometimes that green-eyed monster seem bigger when it's someone I know.
Coping is swallowing the lump in my throat that says I let opportunities pass me by every day so it's my own #!*@ fault for not getting there yet. And then I dig deep to truly wish them the best of success I am happy for them. Truly. I am.

Cindy A Christiansen said...

I really enjoy Lark Rise to Candleford on PBS. This is what Emma said to her daughter, Laura, when Laura was worried about winning a writing contest:
"Is it decorations you want, my Laura, or to be a writer?"
I have to admit, I do get professional jealousy. But when I really think about it, writing for me is not about awards, viral success or fame. I love to write, and I want to write what I love.

Kerrigan Byrne said...

Well said Cindy! And Teehee Tiffany! When I get professional jealousy I escape to my favorite pastime. DELUSIONS! I say to myself: Welp, of course Karen Marie Moning is wonderful and brilliant and amazing and smarter than me... and when I'm a NYTBSA maybe we'll get to know each other better when our book signing booths are next to each other. Won't that be lovely?
Like I said, delusional, but only if I don't create my own reality... Which I plan on doing.

ladystef said...

Killing people, my own freaking fault, writing for the love of writing and creating my own delusional world, it's no wonder I love you ladies we are all on the same wave link. Writing feels much less solitary when you know there are people who understand you. :)

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

Ah, Cindy. Therein lies the problem. I don't know what attracts me more, the fame or the vindication of publication.

Jack London said, "If fortune comes with fame, come fame. If fortune comes without fame, come fortune."

I'm always about the fortune, but I'm a LOT about the fame. I'm all about the immortality of having my book mentioned in homes throughout the world. Dead serious.

As sad as it is true.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

There is nothing wrong with that! I want it all, baby! Fame, fortune, and immortality.

Jewel's Gems said...

I just tell myself over and over, "I'll get there. am a future NY Times best selling author." It always helps:-)

KrisseeV said...

Odds are when you look at someone with envy, there's a little of it reflected right back at you. I think everyobdy has those, why couldn't I be that, do that, think of that etc.? Even the big hitters. or at least that's what I keep telling myself.
This road is a journey for all of us, and we may all get there sooner or later.

J. Coleman said...

I prefer to doodle little stick figure voodoo dolls with large pointy spears through their heads. However, when my latest nemesis appeared in a perfect little bubble, she not only had a bunch of arrows in her head, but I drew flames at ther feet and chanted "Burn bitch burn!" then indulged in a chocolate overdose. I must have misplaced my GPS that showed me the higher road...

Jennifer said...

I don't think I get jealous as much as discouraged at all the work I must do to get where someone else is. I guess I'm jealous that they've already spent the 18-hour days writing and I haven't yet.

DoreeAnderson.blogspot.com or Doree.anderson@wordpress.com said...

Jealousy? Oh, you mean the forfeit of several unsuspecting hairs on the back of my head. Yeah, I wouldn't go so far as to say jealous. I prefer to call it -venting. I may mope around for several hours and yell at the top of my lungs ...why not me... But after I've thrown something of breakable substance and said their name in vane several times, I'm cool. So Jealousy...na, I don't have a problem with it. JD is too tall, the only gratification I'd get with him is damage to his knees - hum - a thought.

Kimberly Krey said...

It is a great motivator. When I see people going places in the writing world it makes me work that much harder. And eat more Krispy Kremes but that's beside the point. ;)