I recently read a blog post at Purple Hearts talking about envy. In Jessica’s blog she tells how she, on occasion, feels envy for her fellow authors and their publishing credits. More importantly it’s about how she in turn uses the envy to help motivate herself into writing more. While I commend her on finding motivation where she can, I have to respectfully disagree.
Although envy might not be as poisonous as jealousy, the lingering aftertaste can make any amount of success bitter. Let me explain what I mean.
When I write, I do it because I have a story to tell. A message I want people to hear. In some way or another it is unique in either subject or conveyance (I should hope anyways). Once envy takes a hold, I’m no longer focusing on my unique work, but instead focusing on other’s unique work. The danger in that is altering your own work to sound like the unique works of those you were busy being envious over.
I know it’s hard being on the outside looking in, wanting so bad to be included. Stop and think for a moment. What would you rather have, changing who you are and what you write so one day you could possibly be accepted by your peers, but know inside you would feel untrue to yourself, or would you rather continue creating the work that is uniquely you and gain the admiration from your peers, bring that party to you instead?
I know which I’d rather have.
It is human to have and deal with these emotions. Letting them go and moving on takes more effort, but ultimately does ourselves better.