writer’s envy

I have it pretty bad.  It’s the dichotomy of being a writer who reads great literature– it is feeding your work but also fueling your envy and self-loathing.

At least, this is true for me.

So, my question is how do you turn envy into motivation?

Bonus points: how many of these (my favorite writers) can you identify?

4 thoughts on “writer’s envy

  1. I recognize the woman with the pixie cut, though I forgot her name! The one below her is Madeline L’Engle, and of course that’s J.K.Rowling at the bottom. =D

  2. Jackie,

    As a musician, I spend hours scouring through music of different genres and style and then attempt to play masterpieces of my own. As I watch great guitarists like Steve Vai or listen to the emotion in the piano pieces of Paul Cardall I recognize their greatness for what it is. They key, so far as I have found, is not to compare myself to them. I don’t say “I can’t do that like steve” but I rather say “I can do this” or “teach me how.” I stopped playing for three years because of envy, but when I turned to “I can do that” I picked it up again and I’ve learned a lot already (I’m still not there yet).

    Similarly, when we read the miracles of Paul or Peter in the Bible, our response should not be “I wish…” or “I can’t.” In fact, if we tried to compare ourselves to them, I think most of us would find ourselves worthless and without hope. Instead, we try to look at them and say “God can do that through me” or “Look where God’s brought me.” This is just another Parallel.

    As I’ve read through your blog and your novels in bits and pieces, I’ve found that you’ve got a wonderful talent. At least on my end, I finish reading only in disappointment that there is not more. You’re style is unique, and it expresses things in ways that few, if any, have done before. What John Green has written is well enough for John Green, but his measure is not your standards. Therefore, it would not be fair to measure yourself by his standards. In the end, just keep writing because I look forward to your updates.

    God Bless,
    Connor Peoples

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