Is Writer’s Envy Green?

I am dealing with a serious case of writer’s envy.  I really don’t think it’s green, but more of a black.  A black that sinks its way into  your mind in a very insidious way.  Giving way to lack of inspiration and a general sense of self pity.

You think to yourself, “I’ll never be able to write this good,” or “Why did she get a book published so young,” or my favorite “you are wasting your time trying to be a writer, you’ll never get published, give up.”  Okay, maybe no one else thinks this exact thing, but I am, or have been.  Or various forms of said phrases.

I just finished this marvelous book, “The Violets of March” by Sarah Jio.  It’s brilliant and written in a way that makes me want to visit Washington, especially right out side of Seattle.  Well, Ms. Jio is young, married, with children, and did I mention she’s young!  And not only does she have one book published, but several.

Then I just started reading “The Tiger’s Wife” by Téa Obreht.  She’s quite young herself, being only 27 with this debut novel that has won awards.

There are actually several books recently, and mostly by women who are young, that have written novels.  Now, while there are many people that have written non-fiction books, I just don’t count that as quite as stellar. While I think it’s quite amazing, it’s not quite the same as writing a novel. Non-fiction is facts, not something you create in your own mind. You have things that you have to put into non-fiction…. Anything goes with fiction so long as it makes sense.

I take that back, there are several fiction books I’ve read that never have made sense but they still get published.

And here I am, procrastinating with query letters and such for picture books.  Are they a lot of work? In some ways. You try thinking like a ten year old when you are thirty.  No, they don’t take as long to write as a novel, but they still take time.  And a different kind of effort.  So there is work involved.

I guess it might be more of a case of, ‘maybe it’s just me’ and how I write that the envy comes into play.  I’m not always the most motivated person, so I put things off.  These women have probably pushed themselves more than I have, or maybe they have had the luxury of writing more.  Who’s to say, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still envious of their accomplishments.

On the plus side, I’ve been trying to make an effort to work more on the literary agent process. It’s a tiring process and I usually can only research a couple a night. But that is progress from the last five months of nothing.

Writing on

~K.L.B.

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