I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Hateful jealousy mixed with a dash of self-doubt, sometimes followed by guilt.
Another writer is doing better than you. You thought you were awesome, but their writing success is really progressing at an alarming rate. How are they even doing that? Why aren’t you better? What are you saying, be more supportive. Good for them, right? But you’re a terrible liar.
I had my first bout of writer envy in high school. I was watching a morning TV program that had a young girl on the show. She was a year or so younger than me, and she’d already written and published a book.
More recently (like, 10 minutes ago) it was because a writer I know has published their first book of poetry. I’m beginning to see a theme here.
I think my writer envy stems from my own insecurities as a writer, feeling that I’m falling behind, that maybe I’m not where I’m supposed to be, that one day it’ll be too late and I’ll have blown my chance.
Which is ridiculous.
But now that I’ve thought all this out, I feel a bit better. I can do what I want, take my time, have my thoughts, and feel a bit jealous if I want to. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer, and it doesn’t mean I’ve missed the boat.
In fact, a little writer envy might just give me the push that I need to re-start my story.