Jealousy? Or Something Else?

In about nine out of ten cases, I don’t connect well on a personal level to fellow writers that achieve success. I don’t have even casual social media interactions with any blockbuster celebrity writers, but here and there on my feeds there is a connection to someone who, if not made it big, at least made it medium, as it were.

I don’t know what to say to these people.

Granted, sad as this is, they usually have little to say to me anyway. In a few cases, some people with whom I at least casually chatted before their success have had little to nothing to say since their mid-sized dreams have come to fruition. (That’s on them, not me, as far as I’m concerned.)

But set aside those cases. It feels to me that the moment they become successful, even to the degree I am speaking of, my already modest ability communicate and reach out to other people is further weakened.


Why? Jealousy? Maybe, if one were to use an obtuse definition of the word. I would prefer their level of success to my own at this point, yes. If that alone is jealousy to you, than I’m jealous. To me, however, my frustration with not attain their level of achievement is not the source of my discomfort, so the main issue is not jealousy. It’s relatability.

Once someone has confirmed their level of accomplishment as an author, they enter a different world. Yes, they still must write, and all of the concerns and tricks and terrors of creating a manuscript remain for both the arrived and the not-yet-arrived. However, much of what the author of even modest achievement talks about and explores is the nature of that success. The book tour, the interview, how to follow it up. Increased traffic on websites and social media feeds. I’ve nothing to offer such a person, because I haven’t done any of that. They have little to offer me for the same reason.

I’ll admit that seeing other people make it through with their plans does get me frustrated about my own not panning out. Again, if that’s jealousy to you, than use your green pen on me I suppose. Yet for me, I just don’t like being reminded of what I’ve not been able to do, and that makes up the lion’s share of available topics from most authors once they have crossed their personal literary Rubicon.

Understand, I don’t wish failure on others. I can, however, become somewhat blinded by the light of their success, and that makes it hard to see my own steering wheel. Not to mention, it’s just awkward.

With rare exception, I don’t unfollow, unfriend, or otherwise avoid such people. If they talk to me, I still talk to them. But it is easier if the subject isn’t our mutual interest of authorship.

I wonder,  is this is  a good, bad, or indifferent way to feel?

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