Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Insecure Writer and Jealousy



Today is June's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Today, I'm co-hosting the IWSG, along with Murees Dupe, Alexia Chamberlynn, and Heather Garner!  Be sure to stop by their blogs too.   



Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Jealousy.

First of all, let me preface this post by saying I love you guys. You’ve been incredibly supportive during the past six years of my writing journey, and I’ve learned so much from each of you. A few of you have even been critique partners. So I just want to say, thank you.

Deep down, however, I‘m jealous of you all. (There, I said it out loud)

Every Friday I post the seven best writing links I find during the week. Although some of them explain how to become a better writer, many of them describe how to better market your book. How to grow email lists, how to design a better covers, the proper way to hold a Facebook party for book launches, etc. All useful information—assuming you’ve gotten around to finishing your book, that is. And I haven’t hit that milestone yet.  And there's the problem.

I’m a member of For Love Or Money, a Facebook group run by Susan Kaye Quinn, an indie author who’s great at sharing everything she’s learned on the subject of publishing. (If you’re into indie publishing, I highly recommend joining.) In fact, there’s so much good information over there it sometimes bothers me that I can’t take advantage of most of it. I feel like an outsider peeking in through the window.

Up till now, I’ve been content with simply enjoying the journey to publication, but that contentment is wearing a bit thin these days. I’m tired of hearing about everyone else’s Facebook parties. I’m tired of hearing about cover reveals. Heck, I'm tired of seeing blog tours everywhere I go. You industrious writers are driving me crazy.

I know I’ll eventually finish my book, but man, the wait is killing me.

ChemistKen


Oh, by the way.  Be sure to stop by here next Wednesday when I'll be honored to be one of the stops for Chrys Fey's Seismic Crimes blog tour.  Hey, just because I'm jealous doesn't mean I can't help out a fellow writer.  If I could write like she does, I'm sure I'd already have finished my book by now.

Just sayin...




63 comments:

  1. This will put it in perspective for you - I want the IWSG website and Facebook group to be that good. There, I said it!
    Even with a polished manuscript, it's all about timing. As long as you're trying, your time will come.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. I think those sites are already pretty good. Thanks for helping set this all up to begin with.

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  2. The wait is the hardest part. But one day we'll be hosting you and your book on our blogs!!!

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    1. Oh, almost forgot, thank you for co-hosting today!!!

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    2. That thought is what keeps me going, day after day. Thanks.

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  3. It's a long process, Ken. I'm not there either and the waiting can be so.....FRUSTRATING!!!!! I feel your anguish. But we will get there!! And it's also great that our cyber buddies share their experiences so we can learn from their success and their mistakes. Keep writing and keep smiling!!

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    1. As crazy as it sounds, I'm looking forward to my first mistakes. At least then I'd know I was making progress.

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  4. I think jealousy is a never ending hamster wheel for us writers. Even after you have a book you're going to be jealous of other people selling more, getting better reviews, winning prizes, getting features...it never ends, trust me! But hey, we love this game, right? Right?!

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    1. It may never quite end, but I'll be pretty darned happy once my first book gets out there, no matter how well everyone else is doing. I just want to feel like I belong.

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  5. First, thank you for being one of our co-host for this month. Hang in there. Practice patience a little more. I know it is difficult waiting, writing, revising while other people are already published but don't give up. Keep goling. You'll get there too. That is what I keep telling myself also because I don't have my first book out either.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia


    http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/06/iwsg-june-2016-recovery-is-not-matter.html

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    1. Us first timers have to stick together, don't we. Thanks for stopping by, Pat.

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  6. Yeah, being at the part where you don't have a product to shop around is a real pain. And yes, all writers have this jealousy thing because it feels like time is slipping away and everyone around you is doing so much better than you.

    I'll tell you a secret: When I was first querying, one of my friends landed an agent. I was SO Jealous. Like green eyes of envy, jealous. And she shopped her manuscript. It didn't sell. She shopped her next manuscript and it did sell (Yay!). And then she released and it bombed. The publisher dropped her. Her agent left the business, and now she's back to finding an agent. All of this happened behind the scenes, so no one saw that her book was flagging, that she'd been dropped, that her agent was gone--all markers of success. One day I asked what happened and she explained how she hid the bad stuff out of fear and shame. So just be careful, the things you are jealous of might actually be illusions...

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    1. It's true, even though my writer friends are published, I have no idea what they had to go through to get there.

      Whew! That story is exactly the kind of thing that makes me want to steer right toward indie publishing.

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  7. Well I commented once and it deleted it... But I hope you're able to enjoy your individual writing journey. It's different for everyone. Some people don't even launch a career until their 60's, and I applaud them for it. They're probably much better prepared for the demands at that point. You think writing is demanding... Oh no. Just wait until you have a published work and all the incumbent responsibilities. Enjoy this stage. I know it's hard.

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    1. I'm sure the workload will get worse. But I'll still be really happy that I've finally joined the ranks of published writers.

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  8. Deep down, aren't we all jealous of other's success? While we don't say it out loud like you did, we still feel that emotion. Be the Little Engine That Could and tell yourself: I will finish my book, I will finish... Thanks for co-hosting, Ken.

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    1. I KNOW I will finish one day. I have no doubt that at all. But the waiting is sooooo tedious.

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  9. I go through phases of this too. Although once I sit down and start writing, it generally goes away.

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    1. Writing time is definitely happy time for me. It's when I go to bed and realize how much more writing needs to be done that the magnitude of the problem hits me.

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  10. You might not be able to take advantage of these things yet, but you can gather this useful information (as I'm sure you have been) so you can be better equipped later. I used to be jealous all the time, too. As a matter of fact, I still can be. I think it's normal. We are all jealous of the next person, the writer with a little more than us at the moment.

    Thank you for mentioning my post for next week! :)

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    1. You'd be amazed at how many links to useful information I have stored up on my computer. One day I'll be able to set them all free.

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  11. It takes as long as it takes. Unless you're addicted to Netflix. Then you're screwed. It can be hard to know when something is finished. I could edit forever, but at some point, you have to stop. Then again, you don't want to put out something that needs more editing. It's a balancing act.

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  12. I'll admit to feeling that way too once in a while, mostly over my lack of marketing skills. When I see authors throwing Facebook parties and giveaways and lots of other promotions, I wish I could be as organized and social as they are. Maybe at some point I'll get to that level. Good luck with your WiP! Keep on plugging away and you'll get there. That moment will be oh-so-sweet. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG!

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  13. That's okay. When you get to this side of the fence, the marketing pressure will make you wish you were back to still writing and not doing this other stuff. I mean, I *try* to take advantage of all the tips and tricks, but I'm still struggling to build my email list and all that. So I'm jealous of the people who are better at it than I am. I think a little professional jealousy is normal, and can be motivating.

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  14. There's that saying/quote - comparison is the thief of joy. Our successes never seem as good as other people's successes, do they? But they are! :)

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  15. I get where you're coming from. We all move forward at our own pace. I think all those you've supported will be there when it's your turn to be in the spotlight.

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  16. You being jealous doesn't deter from the fact that you are a great guy and a huge supporter of all of us. You rock, Ken!

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  17. I understand jealousy all too well. My friend has a book that is doing well, and she doesn't have to market at all because of the genre. I'm happy for her, but gosh darn it, I want to have it so easy. *sigh* Best of luck writing! It takes a while, but you'll get there!

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  18. I admire your honesty and I can honestly say that there have been times when I have felt exactly like you do now. But lately, I've been slowly learning to not compare myself to others so much - we're all on our own journey, and we'll all get to wherever we want to be in our own time. I completely agree with Rena's comment too - you never know what's going on in someone else's life, so even though it might seem like they have everything you want, it might not actually be the case. But whenever I'm in one of my jealous moods, I find it easier to avoid social media altogether, then I don't feel so bad :)

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  19. I admire your honesty, too. I get so jealous of the awesome writing I see out there. I know I don't write like that. Heck, I don't even comment all that well. I'm a wave wildly while trying to figure out what to say kid of comment-er with lots of exclamation points to give hugs and emphasis! I get jealousy.
    However, I keep writing anyway, and I hope you do, too.
    I'm looking forward to the blow-the-roof-off bash we're all going to have when your books are ready!

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  20. Great post, Ken. I feel your pain. The book I'm finally getting out there has been in the works for over five years--so long I had to go back in and update some of the technology. It was simmering, getting ready. Sometimes, it just takes a while.

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  21. Thank you for co hosting. I'm glad you could talk about how jealous you feel. I'm not a stranger to that feeling myself. I'm sure you'll get there. Love your blog btw. Cheers

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  22. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts today Ken. You will get there. I believe it :)

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  23. Hey Ken, I love your honesty about being jealous. I'm just wondering why you haven't finished your book yet. Maybe it's time to quit reading the blogs and write the book. I know when I decided to write a memoir, I began reading books on HOW to do it and peruse blogs of memoir writers and watch you tube interviews of memoirists...because I was afraid to face the actual writing. Kind of like always finding something else to do instead of write. We've all done that, for sure. So, your day will come when you finish the book, then re-write it, then edit it, then read it again for the 100th time. I know it. But first you have to get in that chair and write. BTW, it's okay to be jealous. We've all felt that way too. Happy writing!!

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  24. It can be slow and frustrating. There's nothing wrong with admitting you're jealous. Envy is human nature. Believe me though, each side of "published book" comes with a whole lot of headache and frustration.

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  25. I'm a little like you. I'm so jealous of other success'. I would love to have some kind of success. But in the end, I'm mostly to blame for that. I allow myself to be distracted. No amount of knowledge and talent can compete against getting sidetracked. We just need to find a way to better focus our time and our talents. Keep up the good work! Thanks for co-hosting. I'll have to stop back next week too. Chrys is indeed a great writer.
    PS Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  26. Firstly, let me say that I'm really happy to have found your blog. By the looks of the peeps here I'm in the minority. You are doing wonderfully! It takes time. Trust me. The publishing world is so huge, yet so small. There's an enormous amount of information to learn, and that's without even talking about honing our writing craft and technique. And yet, there seems to be such a tiny window of opportunity to sign with an agent or snag a book deal. Keep forging ahead. Your journey is yours alone, but we're all in this together.

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  27. I think you are awesome. You just admitted what most of us will never admit aloud. I published my first book last year after working on it for over 5 years. Trust me, the jealousy doesn't go away after you publish. Then you will see how other writers are pumping out books every few months and you're still struggling with book 2:) This community is amazing and it's great co-hosting with you. Honestly, don't worry, you're time will come. Every writer's journey is different. Your book is going to be amazing, I can tell. Then I will be jealous of how well you write:) Hang in there, Ken.

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  28. I get it. It's a slog with no specific end point. That's hard to commit to on the hard days. No shame in admitting it.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  29. I hear you. I'm so excited for everyone who reaches goal after goal, and yet, they are all getting there while I feel left in the rain. It gets depressing and frustrating but that's part of the game (Sadistic, isn't it?)

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  30. I have lots of times I'm jealous of other writers. My progress with putting out books always seems to stall while everyone else is cranking them out. But we're only human and as long as the jealousy doesn't take over, it won't hurt you.

    Thanks for cohosting.

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  31. I hope you don't waste your time jealous of me! Because then I'll have to do something fantastic to keep your jealous attention and that will be too hard. Great post and good co-hosting today, Ken.

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  32. I get jealous often myself. Our insecurities can give us green eyes. You're not alone in this feeling. Keep on pushing forward and maybe one day you'll beat that green eyed monster! Thanks for co-hosting today. :)

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  33. I imagine we all have these moments. It's always something random with me that gives me a little pain in the chest as I think, "I can't wait to be there!" Thanks for co-hosting!

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  34. We all wear green, and not just in March, I'm afraid. At least you have the nerve to say so out loud! Good for you. I am jealous of prolific writers too. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  35. There's always something to envy. I have finished more than one book, but I suck at marketing. I'll have to follow up the group you mentioned--thanks for sharing!

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  36. You'll finish it Ken. My first novel effort is at 5 years and counting. Still thinking about it and now seems like a good time to re-visit the story. Yours will be done at just the right time . . . when you finish it! Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  37. Eh, we all get jealous :) It's natural. As long as you don't let it drag you down, you'll be fine and it just means you're human.

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  38. *Snickers* I so get it. My favorite part "You industrious writers are driving me crazy." Amen I say, lol, but in a good way. I wanna be them too. You can do this and you will do this. You are inspiring in what you do, do, so don't sell yourself short.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  39. Oh, yeah, jealousy, I know the beast. She is ugly. But the truth is: we all go by our own pace. You'll get there, Ken. Just keep going. The only thing that will prevent you from achieving success (whatever the definition of success is for you) is if you stop.

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  40. Thank you for the suggestion about the FB group. I joined. I suspect there is an innate fear in a lot of us to finish the book - because then what?? What's next??? But two wonderful words for an author to type - The End.
    Tweeted.

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  41. I suspect we all have a twinge of jealousy at times - even those who've written lots of books and achieving good sales. There's always someone better, or more successful, or more well known or more respected, or something!

    Best thing is to use that jealousy to push us on to better things and not allow it to hold us back or make us bitter.

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  42. Hi Ken,
    Since it is the truest form of flattery, jealousy isn't such a bad thing ;-) It could even be just the push we need to carry on. It took me seven years to write my first YA and yet it sits (stewing) in the darkness of its very own file while I've published two others in the meantime. I wish I could say why that is. At any rate, we're in the right place for inspiration and support (and yeah, jealousy too!) so I figure we can't lose! Your story awaits the telling by no one else but you - enjoy the process :-)

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  43. Thank you, Ken, for being one of those awesome writers who help fellow writers' marketing programs. When your book is published, you'll have an incredible about of experience and knowledge that will give your marketing strategies a huge boost. I started out with zero understanding and it cost me not only sales but a lot of frustration. You'll be great.

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  44. Whilst it is truly fabulous to hear of others good news I think we all want it to be us one day! I try and let those feelings spur me on to keep pushing ahead. Thank you for being such a supportive champion and for being an awesome co-host of IWSG this month. Keep on going, Ken.

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  45. Dude, we're ALL jealous. I'm not jealous of launch parties or cover reveals (I hate that stuff), but I go nuts when I see someone announce on FB they hit the top of a sales ranking list! "Ack! Why not meeeee?" I moan. And for someone to get that official "Amazon Bestselling Author" title and splash it across their books. It's awesome for them, but my eye starts twitching, esp because I don't even know how they do that! It's like a special algorithm and length of time or number of books you have to sell. Who knows? Go ahead. Be jealous. Anyone who says they aren't is a liar. :P

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  46. Gosh, Ken, I could have written this post myself! I don't want to say I'm jealous of other writers, but I'm super annoyed at myself for being such a bad writer and not finishing anything I start. I honestly don't know if I'll ever have anything ready to publish in the future. At the rate I'm going, I just never will.

    I guess we have to keep plugging away, no matter what. Maybe when I'm old and gray I'll finally have something finished and publishable. I'll hold onto that hope.

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  47. Hi Ken!

    First of all, thank you for stopping by my blog AND thank you for co-hosting!!

    I so understand where you're coming from. I feel the same way! I have the ideas, I have the stories, I have the dreams but the writing...well, I can't figure it out! I want to write and I want to make a life as a writer but carving out the time and taking the initiative seems to trickle past me and into another day of no writing. I feel the same way when I read about all the amazing writing things people are doing. I have to wonder: do they have clones? Magical powers? If so, how can I get them too?

    Thanks for pouring out your insecurity. I know it affects more people than just you (and me!). Keep writing, even if it's just a little bit. I tell myself that even a few words a day will mount up to a finished work. And let the jealousy motivate you to be a better writer! Cheers!

    ~Jen

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  48. I totally get where you are coming from. I too get jealous of other writers, but I think it's a healthy kind of jealousy that motivates me to do more and or better. In truth, I find that my jealousy is an odd form a admiration- I want to be like these writers or at least be where they are.
    I'm not having any problems finishing books, but the promotion thing is a constant struggle and the rollercoaster of book sales is subject for another day.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  49. But just think of how much ahead of the curve you will be when you do have a book coming out. :) I really wish I waited to be published, so I could figure out myself as a writer before jumping in feet first.

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  50. Thanks for co-hosting this month Ken! I understand how you feel. Yes, you’re happy for another writer’s success and won’t hesitate to promote their giveaway/blog tour/cover reveal, etc. But that doesn’t mean you don’t feel the occasional pangs of jealousy. And I don’t think that’ll ever completely go away. But at least, as long as we keep moving forward, no matter how long the wait, the book we poured our sweat, blood and tears into, will be ready to share to the world.

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  51. As long as you keep at it, you'll get there. I know it seems like a long ways away, but trust me; do a little bit each day and it'll happen. You'll have that full length novel and then you'll start obsessing about what to write next.

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  52. I admire your honesty and openness. Thank you for saying what lots of other writers feel...
    Everything in good time, I suppose.
    Always keep in mind the fact that you're not alone.
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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