I hear this so often in writing circles, articles, even at writing conferences. Writers who put down other writers. I know, right??
This is a thing! When I first started writing I was so consumed with my own work I really didn’t give much thought to what might be going on with other writers around me. I wasn’t too involved in the writing community so I didn’t really know the wins and fails of other authors. As I began attending conferences and classes I would hear speakers say, “You may feel jealous or resentful when another author you know gets a big book deal.” That struck me as so odd. Why would I ever feel bitter toward another writer for achieving the dream? How immature! Isn’t that what we are all working our butts off for? …And then it happened to me. A few times. I witnessed a writer pal find an agent, get a book deal, reach the dream.
I was appalled at myself for feeling jealous. This isn’t me! I am happy for these writers! And I was. And I am! They have worked and slaved to get it right and they deserve to have the dream. But these thoughts do run through our minds. Why hasn’t my book been snatched up by an agent? When will I find a publisher?
It isn’t a competition. It isn’t. We are not on a team. We are not racing for a gold medal of which there is only one. We are artists, expressing stories that only we can express. NO one will ever write your book the way you will. Sure there are common trends and themes that get used a lot. But only you will write yours in the way you write it.
The trick is to work on bettering your own writing and becoming your own personal best. Just because those around you have found success first doesn’t mean your day isn’t coming. It is. You can’t keep doing something over and over and not get better at it. And while you’re working at it, be supportive and excited for those you know whose work has finally paid off. You know what it’s like! It is hard! Give them their kudos!
If you keep working and maintain a positive attitude, your kudos will come as well. I promise. Be a good sport. Be a cheerleader for all writers. We are all contributing to the same pot!!