Professional jealousy. It’s a horrifically unproductive state, and one that many if us seem to still get occasionally trapped in. Or maybe you don’t, but I certainly do.
Things will be going okay, I’ll be working on the stuff I love that makes me happy, ignoring the hype that is the sea in which authors drown, and suddenly I’ll see a picture of That Really Annoying Author I Can’t Stand and they will be waffling on about their awesomeness, and their success will be oozing from their pores, and the urge to go and throw myself and all my work off a cliff becomes rather strong.
Jealousy about the success of others is pretty normal, I think. Feeling guilty about it isn’t going to make me any less jealous. So I have to tackle what it is that really upsets me – loads of people are more successful than me; that’s a given and it always will be. Is it because every personal interaction I have had with this person has left me wanting to bash their brains in? Closer. Is it because I can’t stand what they write? Probably.
And there you see the heart of how utterly pointless professional jealousy is. I’m upset because someone I don’t like, who writes stuff I don’t enjoy, is successful? Can you see any logic there, because I can’t. If they were vaguely nice, and wrote stuff I enjoyed, then I’d be okay with their success, (and I know this for a fact because this perfectly fits my usual attitude to other people’s success in writing.)
Seriously, guys, let me repeat the key fact here: I’m upset because someone I don’t like, who writes stuff I don’t enjoy, is successful.
Short of taking handfuls of porridge and smearing it on my face while giggling maniacally, I can’t think of anything more childish.
So, I will laugh at myself, shake my head, and carry on writing the stuff I enjoy, and work on letting stupid shit go.