“The hardest thing about being successful is finding somebody to be happy for you.” -Bette Midler
“The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.”
I’ve been thinking more about what happens when you encounter even a modest bit of success with your writing. To me, writing is a profession and should be treated as such. It is unprofessional to sneer at someone if they succeed. Even if you think it on the inside. Would you do that to a co-worker in an office? No. So I was surprised when I sold a book and got that reaction.
I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. I completely understand feeling jealous or comparing yourself to another writer. I look at other people’s writing and feel depressed that their writing is so much more polished or witty or that they can bring a character to life in a few succinct phrases. That’s not helpful, but I still do it. I just don’t see the point of sharing those feelings or dwelling on them. They’re a drain on your energy and will get in the way of your own writing if you let them.
Jennifer Crusie wrote a great essay about professional writers and professional jealousy.
Annie R Allen wrote about people who love to cut you down to their level of negativity.