Confession time. I have a problem with writer jealousy. It’s not a serious case, but enough that it requires energy and effort to keep it at bay.
As a child, I was known as The Smart One. But like most who want what they don’t have, I preferred any of these titles, The Cute One, The Funny One, or The Sweet One. Alas, I wasn’t gifted with any of those labels. And I allowed my thoughts over what I wasn’t to overshadow the gift of who I was.
As a woman, I know discontent. Over my hair color, body shape, shoe size, and the shade of my eyes. Insecurity reeks a crushing blow to productive energy. I’d love to recapture the minutes and hours of my youth, spent on wishing I looked more like someone else. I could reinvest my lost time in doing something meaningful.
As a professional author, I too battle the green-eyed monster. When I read an eloquent beauty, a humorous author, a sweet wordsmith, or a creative powerhouse, I often wish I wrote like them. I tremble in the shadows of a thick plot, riddled with mystery, nuances, and intrigue. I covet the ability to paint rich landscapes, where every small touch blends to perfection. I feel sad that I can’t make readers belly laugh like my hysterical peers. My heart’s desire is to embellish dialogue with verbs so strong that the reader forgets where they are as soon as they climb into the story.
But there’s hope for a jealous writer like me.
- Through age, I’ve learned it’s okay to be me, as designed by God. The child in me couldn’t see the benefit of my unique outlook on things. But now I know if the building’s burning down, pretty, funny, and sweet won’t get you out.
- Through maturity, I’m learning to appreciate my gifts. I am who I am, and so are the irrevocable qualities others see in me.
- I’m a serious student by nature, and can’t help sharing God-inspired knowledge and wisdom. Like a sponge, I absorb and release.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get past reading a hilarious story, and wishing I could write like its author. But I resolve to remember that just as an arm can’t do an ear’s job, neither can I write what someone else is called to. I may always long to write a great novel, but not until I finish the current race set before me.
Jealous writers who allow themselves to wallow won’t have time or energy to produce their own good work. I am a professional, aged-to-perfection, mature author. This is how I choose to focus my thoughts, so I can create the projects I’m uniquely qualified for. After all, if I don’t write them, who will?
Do you ever struggle with writer’s jealousy?