The Ugly Poison of Literary Jealousy (Thoughts on Writing and Self-Esteem)

I read a lot.

At least I try to read a lot. And I am not talking only about books.

I have paid for a premium account on those new “content feeding platforms” for which I know as much as about the mating habits of dinosaurs. What I doknow is that they do a pretty good job in reducing my procrastination time from infinite to near infinite. I get to have all my favorite sites on one place and I just scroll through that endless source of knowledge and popular culture hype.

I have divided my interests in convenient groups: Games, Movies, Zen, Inspiring, Books, Writing, etc. In each group I have several sites which I find entertaining, enlightening, and sometimes just stupid enough to feed my lack of self-confidence with some profound motivation and eloquent insights. Sometimes I would even read a news article on what is happening on this beautiful planet. It is mostly war, hunger, pop stars, and activists.

But there is one group, one inexorably hated group, that I keep reading because I am a fucking masochist:

Writing Blogs

Blogs of writers whose writing I enjoy.

Blogs of writers whose sentences speak to my writing soul.

Blogs of writers who WRITE TOO GODDAMN WELL.

And the reason I am so pissed off is that they do and I don’t. And I get jealous. Jealous of the words they use, of the way they use them, of their ideas, of their creativity. I am jealous of their mastery.

I am jealous (too jealous for my own good) but don’t get me wrong here; I am not jealous because they are better than me. That is not the issue. I am perfectly fine with people being better or worse than I am in something that has always been something of a dream in the back of my head. I am jealous because I wish I had their skills. I would love to take a dip into that cauldron of magic writing potion they accidentally dived into when they were kids.

I wish I could write like them.

Since I rarely edit (some basic editing and proofreading) any of the stuff I write here, this might seem like a twister of random thoughts. I am trying to be as coherent as possible, but sometimes, it’s just not possible. Here I go again, drifting from my subject.

How jealous?

I am jealous. But I am not my-mind-is-going-crazy jealous.

I am not sending threatening letters to my favorite writers. I do not spy into their computer files. I do not tear their hardcovers swearing vicious revenge.

My jealousy is a personal statement of self-loathing. I doubt myself. I let that green-eyed monster tear me apart because I constantly feed the wrong wolf. I make comparisons. I want to be the very best but avoid the work I need to do to achieve that.

I catch no literary Pokemon.

I want to write like “Writer X” but I put few hours in the art. I crave for writing skills without the sacrifices needed to achieve them. I want to eat the fruits without the labor.

And I shouldn’t. Because this is how Resistance gets its kicks. And this is how I am NOT going to get what I want.

There is only one thing I, you, and everyone else who wants to be good at what they love can do: show up no matter how I feel.

And until someone gets jealous of my art, I will write.