Writer Envy by Annmarie Miles
Author Annmarie Miles joins us again this month to discuss what it means to be envious of other writers and their success and why we can’t let that envy mess with our heads and make us doubt ourselves. Enjoy!
Do you suffer from writer envy?
Are you jealous of the success of others?
Even writers you know and love?
Well here’s your sister.
My name is Annmarie Miles and yes, I’m jealous of pretty much every writer around me.
I cheer and whoop and holler for other writers’ success; and when I do, I mean it. I genuinely mean it. But I find myself constantly comparing myself to others and how they are doing. Social media doesn’t help with that. Knowing how many followers and likes and comments etc. that others have can give me a false sense of triumph and needless disappointment.
Envy is a bit like worry; it changes nothing and can fill our heads with the nightmares of ‘what if?’ or worse … ‘what if not?’ Our minds are run ragged; and at the end of all that – there is still a blank screen or page in front of us that needs words on it.
We can’t be any other writer than who we are – if I try to be Stephen King or Jane Austen, or a mixture of both (mmm there’s an idea), I won’t be progressing as the writer I am.
* We need other writers:
Let’s face it, we’re the only ones who understand each other. When I’m with a group of writers I know I’m in the company of people who really get me. When I wake in the early hours and reach for my notebook, because one of my characters has disturbed my sleep, I try not to wake hubby. Only another writer understands that it can’t wait until morning.
* Other writers need us too:
Successful writers need encouragement and camaraderie too. Everyone needs a slap on the shoulder sometimes. Even those who are making the big bucks and the headlines.
* If you need to improve, then get to work:
We’re all somewhere on the scale: better than some, not quite as good as most. If we need to improve then we should get to work. Write more. Read more. Practise, get feedback. Yes … they are the things we’re always told to do. Do more of it
I read a quote recently that gave me one of those gentle loving slaps on the wrist. “The only writer to whom you should compare yourself to is the one you were yesterday.”
It was liberating. Honestly, like a glass of cold water thrown in my face. Shocking, but refreshing. It reminded me that my energies should be focused elsewhere.
If I’m going to compare myself to someone, it should be me.
If I’m going to guard my talent jealously, it should only be against myself and the negative blah-dee-blah that rolls around my head.
If I’m going to strive for more fans, than it should only be about improving my own numbers; not beating anyone else’s.
If I’m going to be a better writer, than I should concern myself with being better than the writer I was yesterday; and still whoop & holler at the book sales, twitter fans and column inches of others.
As an Irish woman, green is one of my favourite colours; but as a writer, it doesn’t look good on me.
Do you suffer from writer envy?
How do you deal with it?
Any tips for those of us feeling a little green?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Annmarie Miles, part time writer, full time believer is 40something, Irish, Christian, married, and proud to be all of those things. She loves words, music & chocolate! You can find out all about her and her book “The Long & The Short of It” at the new website: www.annmariemiles.com
Where to find Annmarie:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/amowriting
Personal Blog: www.auntyamo.com
Writing Blog: www.annmariemiles.com/blog