I’m starting on my new year’s resolutions early this year. Instead of doing the usual get-health and lose-weight that are always on my list, I’m aiming for a goal that’s more personal. I want to be more gracious, more forgiving, less bitter and resentful.
I know those sound like grand and sweeping goals, but really, I want all of those things in relation to how I feel about other writers. It’s confession time now. I struggle with professional jealous. Big time.
It’s not with the people I know well. With my close friends it’s different. I know and love them. I could never be jealous of their successes. (I am occasionally jealous of their talents, but that’s a different, less ugly kind of jealousy. I can live with that, because it makes me strive harder.) It’s the people I know only slightly or not all, of whom I’m jealous. And it’s that nasty, seething kind of jealous. I’m particularly bad when it’s someone who’s slighted me in some way or made me feel insignificant. For the sake of this blog, we’ll call lump them all together and call them Wanda Writers. Though the truth is, they’re not all writers, there’s a blogger and an editor thrown into the mix. Every time I hear about a success of theirs I get all worked up.
And why? It doesn’t do me any good. My anger and jealousy doesn’t affect them. It only affects me. So why do I hold on it?
This is what I’ve been wrestling with lately. Recently I resolved to try to be more at peace with own place on the writer’s totem pole. To try to banish the idea of there even being a writer’s totem pole. Or if there is one, to stop caring where I am on it. I’ve been mulling this over and had decided I just wasn’t going to let it bother me anymore.
Wouldn’t you know it, the day I decided this–the very same day!–I happen to see a less than stellar review on a well-regarded website. And I find out that that same website just loves Wanda Writer’s new book. They are gush, gush, gushing over Wanda Writer. Again. Did I mention this was all in the same day?
Needless to say, this was a heavy blow to my newly pledged zen-like acceptance. Frankly, I wanted to have a hissy fit. I mean, what crappy luck! How was I supposed to be zen when the universe was rubbing my nose in Wanda Writer’s success?
Then I paused, took a deep breath (to channel my yoga teacher), and decided to look at it another way. Maybe the universe wasn’t rubbing my nose in it. Maybe the universe was providing me with an opportunity to grow. To prove to myself that I really could do this.
So there we are. It’s a month before the New Year and I’m starting to make some progress.
Now, I’ve confessed my dirty secret. I’ve shared a pretty ugly side of myself. Do you ever feel that way too?