Posted by Laurie 🙂
How do you deal with the jealousy you feel when you listen to authors at writers’ conferences or read Pulitzer-prize winning magazine articles in the New York Times? If you’re not a writer jealous of other writers, I need your advice.
One surefire tip for dealing with jealousy is to get deeper into your own writing. Use the exercises in books such as One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer’s Art and Craft by Susan M. Tiberghien to develop your own distinct writing voice and style. If you’re jealous of other writers, it may be because you haven’t figured out who you are as a writer.
Anne Lamott describes her jealousy of one writer in particular in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (I think she was referring to Natalie Goldberg, but I have no foundation whatsoever for my suspicion). Actually, it may have been traveling Mercies that she talked about her writerly jealousy. If you haven’t read Lamott’s books on writing and life, get thee to a library or Amazon.com! It’s good stuff.
Here’s how I deal with jealousy of other writers: I stop writing. I let my feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and uncertainty overwhelm me, and I surf Youtube for “how to play the flute” videos. That makes me feel even more inadequate and insecure because I’m a new flutist, so then I eat. Lots. Blech.
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