For the last inspirational article we have Kristi Ann Hunter, a Regency romance novelist who writes for Bethany house, to share a secret many writers (and I think people in general) don’t like to own. Intrigued? Read on.
Dear writer, pull up a chair and get comfy because I’m about to tell you a secret. It’s something we authors don’t like to talk about, but we all experience. Well, most of us. Okay, I’m actually not sure if it’s anyone besides me because, did I mention that we don’t talk about it?
My name is Kristi Ann Hunter and I suffer from jealousy.
There. I said it. I get jealous of my fellow authors.
Authors like to say that writing is a family, that being surrounded by other people who live a thousand lives in their heads make us feel we belong, and it’s true.
But I’ve yet to meet a sibling set that didn’t have an occasional run in with the green-eyed monster.
It’s really uncomfortable being jealous of your friends because you are also really truly happy for them. I never knew before I became a writer how many conflicting emotions one can genuinely feel at the same time. It’s exhausting.
Some of you reading this don’t know who I am or what my journey looked like and some of you do and are probably ready to punch me in the face for saying I’m jealous of anyone. My awards shelf doesn’t require any extra knick knacks to look right, I’ve had three contracts with my dream publisher, Bethany House, with their amazing covers and dreamy publicity team, and did I mention the time between my decision to take writing seriously and holding my first published book was less than four years?
Yet I get jealous.
Before you’re published, you expect to fight envy whenever your friends land a contract or an agent. There’s inevitably that when-is-it-my-turn feeling. But getting published doesn’t stop the problem. It really only gives you more things to be jealous about.
A blogger doesn’t include you in their top ten (or twenty because they can only cull the list so far).
Your friend gets invited to speak at a conference instead of you. Or, perhaps worse, you both get invited but “everyone” only talks about how excited they are to see her.
Another book written by someone other than you hits the bestseller list.
Readers with similar books in their arms walk right by you at a book signing event.
A debut author gets a publicity opportunity from your publisher that you never got.
The list goes on and on, which is, admittedly, a bit depressing. The good thing about such a long list, though, is that I’ve learned a few things about dealing with that ugly little emotion and I can pass those on to you, assuming, of course, that anyone else is struggling with this and you haven’t all simply been invited to my own personal therapy session.
- Get some tough love. Have people in your life that will let you rant about the jealousy and then sit on you and remind you of your blessings.
- Remember you can’t have everything, your book is not for everyone, and you’d have probably had to trade some other amazing thing in your life in order to get what they got.
- Pray about it. I put this one third instead of first because I, personally, have a need to verbally spew feelings. Then I have to wiggle my way out from beneath the emotional sludge to be able to hear God speaking. 1 and 2 happen pretty quickly for me now and I hit my knees a little sooner than I used to. If you can start here, more power to you. (And, yes, I’m a bit jealous.)
- Get over it, or at least pretend to. They say one of the best ways to build confidence is to fake it until it’s real. I find that’s true with a lot of things. Jealousy will direct your writing career right into the grave if you let it control what you do and how you interact with people. Acknowledge it, maybe even dance with it a while, then shove into whatever deep dark box you normally keep it in and make your decisions based on the writing mission God has given you and the things you know to be true.
Get a beefed up mental bouncer if you have to, because emotions are lying little buggers and jealousy ruins every party it’s invited to.
Which I guess might be why we never talk about it.
You can find Kristi Ann Hunter on Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Indie Bound, Google Play, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Amazon, Life Way, Christianbook.com, Books-A-Million, Goodreads, Instagram, and her website kristiannhunter.com
Kristi is the RITA® award winning author of Regency romance novels from a Christian worldview. Her titles include A Noble Masquerade, An Elegant Façade, and An Uncommon Courtship. Beyond writing, she is also speaker, teaching classes in writing as well as Biblical and spiritual topics. She has spoken to writers’ groups, schools, and young women’s groups at churches.
When she is not writing or interacting with her readers, Kristi spends time with her family and her church. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a computer science degree, she can also be found fiddling with her computer in her free time. A born lover of stories she is also an avid reader. From very young she dreamed of sharing her own stories with others and praises God daily that she gets to live that dream today.
(Yeah, I know. That’s all official and formal. If you want the fun stuff, click the HERE.)
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