Jealousy of Other Writers and How it Sabotages Your Success

December 14, 2010

In her writer’s blog, The View from the Shed, Sally Quilford recently bemoaned the resentment of unpublished writers towards published ones.  The post received many comments, including one from a writer who had received unpleasant messages on Facebook and Twitter when she made a competition shortlist, from those who hadn’t. Author of A Secret Alchemy, Emma Darwin, contributed another article on the same subject.

The fact is that jealousy between writers is rife – and it isn’t just the jealousy of unpublished writers towards published ones; any writer (published or not) can suffer jealousy of any other writer they perceive to be more successful.  What few people realise is that feeling jealous or resentful towards other writers can actually hamper your own success.

How Jealousy Sabotages You

As anyone conscious of the Law of Attraction will understand, jealousy of others’ success is precisely the emotion that will keep you separate from that success you most desire. It stands to reason your subconscious won’t let you become the kind of person you resent. Why would it? So a jealous person will often self-sabotage… and avoid doing exactly what it is they need to do to succeed.

For example, having suffered intense jealousy last year, they might not enter the competition this year, because “What’s the point? One of those published authors will sneak in and steal the prize”!

If you want writing success for yourself, you need to be genuinely pleased when witnessing the writing success in others.  I think of the poet Michael Donaghy, surely one of the most respected and loved poets of his generation, who was nothing but generous to those ‘further down the ladder’ and treated every one of us, his poetry friends (published or not) as equals.  There was a writer confident enough in his own ability to succeed that he was never threatened by the success of others, and that is the attitude we need to model, if we want a similar level of success.

Two Ways to Neutralise Jealousy or Resentment

But it can be more than a little challenging to wrestle those jealous feelings to the ground, and it certainly cannot be done by sheer willpower.  If you become aware of resentments or jealousy towards a writer you perceive to be more successful, you can clear that jealousy using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).  Learning the basics of EFT doesn’t take long, but if it seems like too much effort, if you’re not confident about your ability to ‘do it right’ or it’s a bit ‘woo-woo’ for your tastes, try these free hypnotherapy tracks instead.  Just download the tracks onto your computer or mp3 player, play one of the tracks through your headphones, focusing on the jealous thought/feeling, and follow the instructions.  Rate your jealousy (out of 10) at the beginning and end of the track; you’ll be amazed at how quickly it will come down. Play the tracks as many times as you need to clear your jealousy; but twice is often enough.

A resentment-free writer is a successful writer

Do this whenever you feel that envious twinge – neutralising all your jealousy towards other writers – and you’ll have cleared another psychological stumbling block out of your path.  With your subconscious jealousy no longer hampering you, you’ll find yourself behaving differently at writer’s launches and other literary gatherings.  For a start, you’ll have more fun! But you’ll also be amazed how much of that resentment was transmitting itself through your tone of voice and your body language.  With jealousy and resentment erased, you’ll feel happier around successful writers and find it easier to talk to them.  Don’t be surprised if you find, as a result, that your writing career starts moving in the desired direction.

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3 Responses to Jealousy of Other Writers and How it Sabotages Your Success

  1. Tweets that mention Jealousy of Other Writers and How it Sabotages Your Success | Be the Writer You Dream of Being -- on December 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ros Barber, Kate @ BeWriteOn. Kate @ BeWriteOn said: Jealousy of other writers and how it sabotages your success [...]

  2. Sue Guiney on December 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    An important blog. I think we all suffer from it at one time or another. We’re all human, after all. The important thing is what you do with the feeling and if you let it get in your way — as you point out. Thanks for saying all this out loud.

  3. Ros on December 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks Sue. Always a pleasure to get down to the nitty gritty of a writer’s emotional life!


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