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Friday, April 6, 2018

Are Writers Jealous Of Other Writers?



I don’t often care if someone has more money than me or on the surface seems to be living a great life. There’s no point in being jealous.  Maybe I can learn something from them or find a trait to model for my own success.  Perhaps I also don’t pay it much attention because I know that some will always have more than me – and many will not.  I also know that appearances are misleading.  Are these people as successful as they appear to be?  Are they happy?  Do they lack in other areas?  The competition game is a losing proposition – their status will neither make me better nor worse.

But what I do find myself competing in is the world of writing, thinking, and creating.  In that arena, I can feel envy, jealousy, competition…and all of those human qualities that turn us into crazed people.

It’s only natural to wonder:  Why does their book become a big hit while another languishes?  It’s only human to feel competitive when seeing what you believe to be lesser talents rise above your station in life.

But the truth is that success is not directly correlated to talent in a singular area.  It has to do with your connections, your experiences, your education, and even your demographics, from gender and sexual orientation to race, religion, geography, and economic status.  So many things factor in to where you will land in life, and talent isn’t always the leading factor.

There are many great writers out there, but some don’t get discovered because of other factors, from how one was published and promoted, to misperceptions about a writer and his work.  The opposite is true too, that mediocre writers sometimes advance far – getting more sales and media coverage than they truly deserve.

Life’s unfairness and randomness extends to writers and their careers.  The world doesn’t always reward others on their merits.  Authors know this well.

But to those writers who are very good and deserve the acclaim and riches they are experiencing, can other writers appreciate them without feeling that they should be the ones getting awards, book deals, critical praise, and lots of sales?  Can we, the writing-class, rise above our jealousies, insecurities, and self-centered angst and applaud others without secretly wishing them ill will?

Great writers make all writers better.  Strong writing eventually gets discovered and finds its fan base.  For some, the rise takes too long, and falls too short of expectations.  For others, they catch a break and become instant successes.  But there’s enough room for more to succeed, to capture the hearts and attention of potentially millions of people.  Keep writing what you know, and do your best to practice the art while enjoying the process.  Others will decide your value, but deep down you should already know what yours is.

“Every book has a collaborator in its reader.”
--Maurice Barres, Mes Cahiers (1929-38)

“The novelist is, above all, the historian of conscience.”
--Frederic Raphael, in Contemporary Novelists (1976)

“The novel could disappear, but it won’t die …The human race needs the novel…Those who say the novel is dead can’t write them.”
--Bernard Malamud, in interview in Writers at Work (6th series, 1984)

“If good books did good, the world would have been converted long ago.”
--George Moore, Hail and Farewell (1914)

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

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