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How do you feel when other writers find success?  Success being a subjective thing, of course, and encompassing everything from finally nailing the plot in their WIP, completing a manuscript, surviving their first agent pitch, taking the query plunge, all the way to landing an agent or publishing their book.

Since hanging up my “writer” shingle, I have been lucky to have found the most amazing community of writers on the web. *hugs all yous guys* There is this huge network of writers who blog and tweet and opine about all things #amwriting just waiting for you to jump in and feel the love.

I read a blog post recently that talked about mainstream publishing versus self-publishing which focused on this “us vs. them” feeling the writer had observed. It talked about how some writers judge others when they have strong feelings either way on publishing channels and therefore lash out at the ones on the other side of the publishing fence.  He wondered if it was possible to appreciate both avenues for their pros and cons and all just get along.

But what caught my eye, and prompted this post today, was one of the comments on the post that was just so negative it actually made me sad. The writer of that post said as far as he’s observed, writers always tear one another down. The post said it was about jealousy and entitlement and that all writers are basically arrogant and selfish, assuming their thoughts should be read by everyone – hence why they write in the first place.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I write because I need to. Like breathing. Success so far has translated into my completed yet unpubbed manuscript sitting across the way on my shelf. And that is pretty freaking cool for me. That story hounded me for ten years to be written.

Additionally, when I get online and plug into this fabulous writer community, I don’t feel very judgey.  My experience has been one of authentic community and we’re-all-in-the-same-boatedness that fuels my own desires to be a published author.

If you let yourself connect with others in this community, you’ll see on a daily basis writers who are struggling with their manuscript, writers who just posted their “how I got my agent” story, and still others who are flailing about on their blogs with the joy that their manuscript has a publishing date. They are living the dream! They are living MY dream!

My response?  WAHOOO FOR YOU!!!  I genuinely feel excitement and pride and glee in watching someone reach a goal. (writerly or otherwise) It is even sweeter when you have watched them struggle and work really hard to get there.  I well up when I read other people’s “how I got here” posts. #truestory

Sure, I am not impervious to envy, and wishing I was the one with that kind of fabulous news to share. But instead of getting all grouchy and sour-grapesish on the world, I use that as fuel. It is proof that with work and work and more work, this is something I can do too.

So, I respectfully disagree with the grumptastic commenter. And I disagree with my darling husband when he says I’m being naive about people in general (he says this a lot). I’d like to send the world an edible bouquet of cookie flowers: 

All you need is love, my friends.

About the Author Corinne

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  1. I teared up a little reading that, you know!? I feel the same, life is too short for negativity! I haven’t read that awful post, thank goodness. I need as much positivity as I can find. :) Great post.

  2. Snort, I have to say I love how you had the Charlie Sheen “Winning” picture.

    I think it’s only human to have your “hulk green envy” moments….But I think some people can take it to an extreme and really tear people down.

    When you’ve been querying awhile or been on submission a while, it’s hard not to feel a little twinge when you hear someone’s news. You just can’t let it consume you.

    Nice post!!!

  3. Great post. I love the writing community, met so many great people. I’ve seen a few celebrate milestones I have yet to achieve. And yes, I do feel jealous but I still congratulate them. Why not? The only reason I have yet to reach that milestone is because I have taken the steps. One day I will and hopefully I will have reason to celebrate too.

    I think we can all be allowed a moment of envy, gripe about it to our boyfriend or family, someone not connected to write so we can get the bitter feeling out and replace it with happiness. As long as we don’t allow the envy to fester and make us forget that one day we’ll be there too.

  4. I’ve not had any negative experiences with any writers/bloggers in the 16 months I’ve been blogging. In fact, quite the opposite. The amount of kindness I’ve received and observed has been heartwarming.

    I’ve never been the jealous type, and even my ‘envy’ is lighthearted. I sincerely mean it when I say I’m delighted when ANY writer has success. The nicer they are, the more delighted I am.

    It’s true that I’ve done some pimping for writers that are farther along in their journey…helped them build a blog following and/or spread my love for their book, especially debuts. And, yes, not all of them have been gracious enough to say thank you or visit me and say hello. But, that’s okay. If I pimp a book, it’s because I loved it. If I support a new blogger/writer and help them get lots of new followers and they don’t treat me with kindness later…I don’t take it personally. I try to believe that person is very busy or if they show me otherwise, I just move on and know that I have good karma/juju coming to me. :) And honestly, SO few are rude. Most people are kind and gracious.

    I wish you great success on your writing journey and in life. *hugs*

    Love,
    Lola

  5. First of all an award goes to the word “Grumptastic” Second, YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!! This community is overwhelmingly supportive and generous and giving and REAL. Nice post!

  6. I agree! So far I’ve seen nothing but endless support from the writing community. And sure, there’s always going to be a little envy (“I wish that were me”), but like you said, that’s just fuel to keep working at it! There’s just no time or place for negativity. Life is so much better (for everyone!) when you stay on the positive side. :)

  7. That guy’s attitude makes me so sad, too. The attitude is half the battle, I think. That guy has defeated himself before he even started. I think there are all sorts out there–as this guy clearly illustrates. And honestly, one bad experience can really be upsetting. But I found that positive people tend to attract other positive people to them. Negativity breeds negativity. Like Lola said, doing good, being happy for others–it builds up good karma/juju (love that!). And feeling good for another’s success will help your own success more than it will hinder it.

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