Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Jealousy is my problem. Not my only problem, of course, but one of the biggest ones. I can remember instances of jealousy as clearly as if they were snapshots, moments frozen in time and preserved only to haunt me later. The girl who read more books than I did during the Summer Reading Program one year as a child. That kid in class who always did just the tiniest bit better than I did. The girl that my crush liked.

I'm not mean. I don't insult others or pick fights or talk trash about other people, not even the ones I'm jealous of.

I try really hard to be a good person...
but I'm still jealous.

And being a writer who's predisposed to jealousy is a killer. There's always someone better, someone succeeding where you're not, someone to be envious of. I'm barely into my 20s and already there are quite a few authors who are younger than me, writing books that are getting published -- and writing them well. There are writers with agents, book deals, editors, and pub dates while all I seem to have are novels that are good, but not quite good enough. And even though I'm genuinely happy for these writers, even though many of them have books that I enjoy and in some cases absolutely love, I can't stop the fact that there's a part of me that won't stop being jealous.

I know that jealousy is a useless feeling, that it's negative and mean-spirited and horrible. I know this. I know that when I'm jealous of all these other people the person I'm really jealous of, the one I really want to be, is my Ideal Self -- the version of me that's prettier, smarter, a better writer, who has all those things that I want. That's the girl I'm really envious of.

And I know it's stupid.
And I try not to be that person, that jealous and insecure girl.

But I have to wonder... I've read a few posts recently about jealousy in the writing world, about how it's so very not good and we shouldn't be comparing ourselves to others. That's all true, so terribly, completely, absolutely true, but I have to wonder if there's anyone else out there like me. Who sometimes often can't step those kinds of feelings and who really, really doesn't want to be mean or petty or negative but sometimes it's so hard.

So what about you?