The excellent writer Delilah Dawson tweeted about how to deal with professional jealousy recently, asking published pro's about how to deal with it. The pro's responded like actual human beings not surprisingly.
As much as I wanted to chime in I didn't because the question didn't apply to me. And yet I can relate despite not being a pro.
I have at least five friends, three of whom are fellow VP grads, who are experiencing tremendous success right now. Three of them graduated the same year as I and two have books out as of this year.
I, however, do not.
"And how does that make you feel?" asks the peanut gallery.
"They absolute 100,000,000% deserve it," I reply. "And so do I."
Ballsy like Scalzi? Maybe. Arrogant? Maybe. True? Probably.
See I've felt jealous in the past. In fact I've been tremendously jealous of others for a good portion of my life. In either the music world or the writing world I've got friends who are doing fantastically well. Like platinum album selling and movie deal making well.
And I've been jealous of them. To the absolute depths of my marrow jealous. Green eggs and ham as a motherfucker jealous. Tear down the world why not me god why not me jealous.
Which got me nothing but pissy and moany and no fun to be around.
And I realized it was getting me nowhere. It was taking me down personally and professionally. So I took a new path which was to actually be happy for someone when they were doing well which got me...
Weird, right? I mean it's easy and frankly fun to be a whiny person, baby it up and complain that people are against you. but doing so publicly has a way of backfiring on you horribly.
But oddly enough I've found myself benefitting greatly from doing so. It's made it a hell of a lot easier to be around those doing so well while I'm still in the cycle of submission/rejection. Do I get jealous? Not exactly. I sure as shooting want what they've got which is the chance to make a living writing about the things I love. But I don't waddle around angrily wondering when the publication fairy is going to swoop in and tap my bald spot (shut up I have one and it's not that big) and say, "Here's your book deal!"
I want what they have but I don't begrudge them for it because they sure as sugar worked hard for it. So that leaves a man with two options. Shit or get off the pot. And since writing equals ass in chair - you get the drift.
Mixed metaphors aside it's easier to be happy for someone than covetous of their success. It's also a fantastic motivator.
Now if you'll excuse me I have some Fallout 4 that needs playing.