Angela Scott, a writer friend of mine on twitter wrote a post called “Do you view other writers as friends or foes?” The article gives great advice on stemming the tides of jealousy.
I don’t want to be all Pollyanna here, but I don’t understand the jealous heart. I’ve never looked at followers, friends, how many fans another author has versus me, and when other writers have more sales for the month than I do, I’m genuinely happy for their success. I have an author friend whose work is being made into a major motion film, another who is almost to six-figures in sales, and yet another who has been on the top 100 list practically the entire year of 2011. And through all their success it never occurred to me to resent them or feel jealous.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m just as competitive as the next girl. I’m the first to admit that I’m a stats junkie. I check my followers, page views, sales, tweets, etc religiously. It’s that I’ve never thought to compare them with my peers. I have no clue who has more followers than I do or who is higher on some chart somewhere. I simply don’t have the time to compare myself to someone else, and it would be completely counterproductive.
I think it’s because of my performance background. Jealousy is a staple on the stage. I’ve seen directors use it as a tool to manipulate. I’ve seen it eat away the confidence of even the brightest talents. I’ve watched it cloud over a production, smothering the love of the craft. I learned long ago to starve that monster, and I refuse to feed it now.
And so to all my fellow writers. I glory in your success. You are an integral part of my life. You are brutally honest when I need counsel. You console me if sales slump and are the first to cheer when they soar. I love your outrage when I get a bad review, and you keep me grounded when I receive too much praise. From the depths of my heart, I truly hope you become the next hot title, I hope your story is read by millions and your hard work is praised. And I appreciate you, for not only being a part of my journey, but for allowing me to be a part of yours. After all, isn’t that what friendship is supposed to be?