I took a few month’s off, but now I ‘m back and as insecure as ever. 🙂
My short bio: Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader and movie fanatic who hails from Texas. After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.
Huge thank you to our awesome co-hosts for the January 7 posting of the IWSG, Elizabeth Seckman, Lisa Buie-Collard, Chrys Fey, and Michelle Wallace! I also wanted to say thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating a safe place for those of us who need help.
I have a painful/agonizing/gut-wrenching/creativity-stifling case of ENVY! I know, it is so unhealthy, but I can’t help it. It started early last month when I punished myself by stalking some new releases, all who out performed my new release. Everywhere I turned, it seemed like people where hitting that top 100 list, author’s were releasing their 8th/12th/ 20th novel (I’m on my 3rd). Books in my genre where out selling me left and right. I even found a new adult sports romance debut novel that was blowing up the charts while my third new adult sports romance novel is basking in mediocrity.
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for each and every author who is successful doing what we do. I want all of us to be a success, but my mind hasn’t been in the right place lately. HELP!!!!
Am I a terrible person? How do you get over envying other people’s success?
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36 thoughts on “Insecure Writer’s Support Group”
Simple cure–don’t look at other’s performances. Easy to say, right? Best wishes on your writing.
Thanks so much Diane.
Yes, I get that sometimes, although I tend to check my own rankings rather than other people’s. In the end, you just have to stop looking.
Thanks Annalisa, I wish it was just the rankings, but if your in the business, it’s inevitable that you are going to hear about others successes.
Yeah… Easier said than done. Everything I can tell you, someone else can probably tell you better. ^_^ I think it’s important to try to stay upbeat and be able to laugh at ourselves and others and not take it all too seriously. At least in theory, I believe that
Thanks you for saying that. It isn’t realistic to just ignore everyone else. I don’t live in a bubble basking in my own greatness. haha. I try and keep a sense of humor and believe in what I am doing.
I feel the key is to not let envy set you back, but spur you forward. Try to set goals for yourself, independent of other people’s success, and concentrate on your own work.
Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for the advice. I’ve done the goals part. Now, I just need to concentrate on my own paper. haha.
Yeah, you’re a terrible person. That’s why we love you. I wish I could say I was so terrible. Three books is nothing to sniff at. All I’ve got to sniff at is my yearly bout with flu. Anyway I’ve gotta run–or my nose does at least.
You’re doing great and don’t worry about any stinkin’ insecurities.
Tossing It Out
Haha. Thanks Arlee. I have no cause to be insecure about anything with people like you in my life. Get well.
I’m sure everybody’s books are outperforming mine. But if they were commercial success-material I wouldn’t be self-publishing them (or would I anyway?). I just see that email that tells me my book has jumped 1.7million up the rankings and I think “Hey, someone’s bought one” and feel sorry for the 3 million or so below me… there are an awful lot of books out there!
Great to see you, Sydney!
No not terrible, but comparing apples and oranges can be hard on the ego. If you want to publish 20 books, you’d better get busy, and expect the sacrifice that goes with it. 🙂
Here’s my link if you’d like to drop by 🙂
Anna from Shout with Emaginette
Haha. 20 books in a year. I dont think so. Haha. I really have no reason to be envious. I just need to keep doning what i am doing.
It is human nature. And, you also know that comparisons and the green-eyed monster, Envy, cripple our creativity.Celebrate your successes and keep writing and submitting more stories for publication!
Play off the Page
I can see how it would be hard not to feel that way. I’ll probably do the same thing once my book is out there — start looking at how other same-genre books are doing. The best thing is to keep yourself from checking out anyone else’s sales, but I know that’s easier said than done. We just need to concentrate on our own works and be proud of the fact that we have published books out there. That’s a huge accomplishment in itself. Keep on writing! Good luck in 2015!
Thanks Lori! Great advice. I’ll try. On my list for 2015.
Envying other people’s success? Hard one. We are only human, after all.
When I get my book out there, I’m going to try my hardest NOT to check others… don’t know how that will work out! Ha! We’ll see. 😀
Writer In Transit
January IWSG co-hostess.
I would be fine if everytime i looked at mine they didnt tell me about other recommendations.
We all wish our work would do as well as other, similar books. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why ours isn’t performing as well. Sometimes that’s impossible. All we can do is our personal best.
Although it’s natural to envy those who seem to be in front of us, there are also many more people behind us, struggling to finish or publish their first book. All we can do is try to learn from each other and be compassionate.
Thats great Sandra. Thanks so much.
Don’t look at that stuff! We can’t really compare ourselves to other people because things will never turn out exactly the same, and there’s always going to be somebody who’s doing better than you. But then that person probably feels the same way.
I do envy the success of others because I’m human, but I’m not jealous. I use it to make myself work harder. So many of the really successful are doing well because they work so hard. I can only try to do the same.
Diane is right don’t look at the other authors reviews or sales. But I can also relate I’m on my second novel which I haven’t finished yet but I’m working on it. So I have one novel out and one novella with no followers. At least you have followers that support you. So be grateful and happy for your success which should never be measured by other people success.
It will get better Sydney. At least you’re writing, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to not compare your success to other people success. You’re way ahead of the game just keep yourself focus. Look at me I only have one novel out and a novella with no followers. You have followers that support you and your work so be grateful and happy and know that in the end you’re doing what you love.
I sometimes feel the same way. It’s more frustrating than jealousy, but I turn a bit green now and then. Just keep on writing. You can do it! And from your comment on my blog, sounds like you’re heading into new and exciting territory. Good luck! 🙂
I envy all of those who started writing New Adult when it became a genre. When I did my series, there wasn’t such a thing, and it was classified as YA.
And yes, I offer formatting for both ebooks and print books (through InDesign.) It’s not hard, but both require a lot of patience and time to learn the quirks that will make a book stand out. The neat thing is, all platforms take epub now, so you only need to format once for ebooks.
It can be very difficult dealing with seeing others around you climbing the charts when you’re chugging along. As someone who’s barely chugging, like I keep needing cable jumpers help kind of barely chugging, comparing is inevitable. I admit the comparisons are natural and understand it’s okay to feel that way, but to NOT allow myself to wallow in that moment. Although there are the outliers who become overnight successes with their first book, I remember that many more are becoming overnight successes after years and years put into the craft, the writing, the learning and the publishing. Keeping that last thing in mind helps me to appreciate their successes that much more.
Good to meet you, Sydney. You’re not a bad person at all. It’s human nature to be competitive.
Is there any way you can use others’ success to spur you on? Can you see what they’re doing right in terms of marketing and relationship building and emulate it? You probably need to start recording your own successes as well. It’s so easy for us to get bogged down about everything we’re not doing well enough, and forget all the ways we’re kicking ass!
Hope this helps. Hang in there. Just remember, someone out there is jealous of YOU.
I try to view others’ success as inspiration instead of envying it. Like I said…try. It’s sometimes easier said than done, but less often than I’d expect.
I must admit sometimes I’m as green as Kermit the Frog.It’s not easy being green. It all boils down to we are human after all, and noticing our faults is a step in the right direction.
It isn’t easy. haha. Thanks David.
Comparing ourselves to others no matter your line of work sets one up for failure. Write your best and the rewards will come. Now if I can listen to my own advice. Happy New Year!
We are all only human after all. It sounds like you need to go back to the marketing drawing board and stop comparing yourself to others. Who are you marketing to? Do you have marketing, advertising and PR plans that are working together
Hi Sydney! First of all, thank you so much for commenting on my IWSG post!
I can understand your frustration. I’ve dealt with the same feelings in other areas of creative work and, I’m sure when I’m published, I’ll deal with it in some form in writing. As many have mentioned, it’s best not to compare and contrast your work to others BUT that’s human nature! We WANT to see what the competition is doing. So do that and move on. Know that YOU are writing/have written the best story YOU can write and then market that bad boy to the best of your ability! Really, that’s all we can do: write and market the best we can and ask for help from others!
Best of luck to you!
Thanks Jen. Great stuff. I’m trying to do just that.