In Natalie Merchant’s 1995 song “Jealousy,” a woman asks these questions about a rival for her lover’s affections: “Is she bright/so well read/are there novels/by her bed?”
The singer might have been even more jealous if those bedside novels were written by her rival. Jealousy and envy are common emotions for writers. When someone you know becomes a successful and well-published writer, envy can be inevitable. And when megacelebrities who never paid their writing dues get big book deals for novels and memoirs that they didn’t actually write, the envy can become…unenviable.
So how will you, as a creative writer, react when confronted with the green-eyed monster? You could become a jealous maniac (like one of the 10,000 Maniacs, the band Ms. Merchant fronted before going solo). But we at Writer’s Relief know you have to be realistic, so here are six practical tips for turning envy into empowerment.