The IWSG question of the month: Do you ever get Author envy?
My answer is yes, of course. But I want to add that not all envy is bad. Here's why:
When we look at the success of other authors, not only can envy come for a ride, but with it a desire to analyze how that author found success. In many ways, envy can become a drive to improve the way we write, the way we market. It may bring with it the crucial questions we need to ask ourselves: What does it take to become successful? What is success to me?
I once met a writer who thought his path to success was through writing novels. He tried this route for many years until he forced himself to stop and wonder why he found no satisfaction. That's when he asked the difficult questions and discovered the truth. He was a short story writer at heart. When he shifted his goals, he found not only satisfaction but success.
Everything I read inspires me in some way. When I read something exceptional, my analytical brain switches on and I ask myself what exactly is it that engaged me with the story? How has the writer tugged my emotional strings so perfectly? How can I improve my work so it touches readers in a similar way? When I read published work that I perceive as not as great yet seems to have found success, I remind myself to stop delaying, stop striving for perfection and just get my stories out there. There's an audience for everyone. I just have to find mine.
Envy is only bad when you let it stop you from moving forward, when you fool yourself into thinking you'll never be good enough and give up. Keep improving, keep reading, keep writing and get your work out there.
What does success mean to you? Does envy drive you forward or hold you back?This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.
Please note I'm actually away at the moment, visiting family. When I get back, I'll do the rounds across the blogsphere to say hi. Until then, stay safe and keep writing!
Enjoy your time away, Lynda. Very succinct discussion on author envy. I agree. It can spur us on to bigger and better things.
Well put. When it stops you, you're dead in the water.
Enjoy your time with family!
Hi Lynda - enjoy your time away. I agree for many aspects of our lives we should take time to consider why things aren't working ... PS I love your books - cheers Hilary
In order to become a good writer, one must be a good reader. How nice that the homework can bring joy, as well as inform.
You put a positive spin on being envious which I like. However we get there, it's great to learn from other authors who we feel are more talented than us.
Envy should be used to better ourselves rather than wallow in jealousy and self-pity.
You never stop learning. You do your best book and others will do theirs. And it's not a one-way street. We never know who we could inspire with the work we put out.
That's my take on envy, too. That it's inspirational! It helps me want to be a better writer.
I try not to compare myself to other writers. It helps when I trend toward envy. hope you enjoyed time with your family :)
Inspiration is always welcome, no matter how I come by it ;-)
Love your definition of envy. Aspiring to be more is always good!
I like your take on the word envy. I've read many posts today that prefer the words amazed, in awe of, admired. Good writing always makes me want to write better myself.
Hi, Lynda! I often read a book more than once, especially when I admire it. That additional reading is always analytical and inspires my writing. Excellent advice: Keep improving, keep reading, keep writing and get your work out there. Enjoy March!
Great, concrete post about author envy. Thank you, Lynda! Enjoy your visiting and stay safe. All best to you!
I'm back from my trip to see family. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. :)
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