The Green-eyed monster says hello

My recent writing successes have been enough to keep my spirits upbeat and motivation high. For a while, I felt like the publishing world was my oyster. It was just a matter of finding the right story for my dream publications and working at my craft till I got better and better and still better.

Then, I opened a copy of a magazine that I’ve been waiting to pitch and saw a familiar by-line. It’s been a long time since I felt a pang of jealousy so severe that it made me want to close the magazine and put it away unread.

I flipped through it anyway, still a little annoyed at myself for being frazzled. “I’ll never be able to write anything for them with x there”, I said to Mr. R between mouthfuls of my favourite black forest cake that suddenly didn’t feel so delicious anymore.

I fretted. I fumed (all in my head, of course). I went to the loo and looked out of the window-less gap in the wall, white cement dust all over the green tiles. How was I ever going to break into these glossy magazines when all the big names were already writing for them? Why would anyone want me to contribute for them when they could choose x instead?

I’m still a little irritated – at x for cornering *my* markets and at myself for not (temporarily) revelling in the well-deserved success of a fellow writer.

I then did what I should have done in the first place. I packed away that magazine to read later and sat down and sent out a few more LOIs and pitches.

Later tonight, I’ll finish a pitch that I’ve been severely procrastinating on sending (not been so nervous about a pitch for a while).  I remind myself that the planet is teeming with my ‘dream’ publications and it’s just a matter of time before this new one carries my by-line, too.

There’s nothing like a little healthy jealousy to get a writer back into action.


2 comments on “The Green-eyed monster says hello

  1. Actually, jealousy isn’t such a healthy emotion and has lead to ruin of many a relationship in my life. There has got to be a better way for human beins to motivate themselves don’t cha think?
    My mother, a very well known person in Goa, has been at the receiving end of it for many years and it is especially sad because she is the most non-jealous person I know and is very happy for others when they succeed even if it is on her turf.

  2. Hi Deepa, I agree that jealousy isn’t a healthy emotion at all, but most of us experience it in our lives. I was writing about how I felt at that moment when I saw this writer’s byline in this coveted magazine. After writing that post, I emailed the writer telling her how happy I was for her success. Jealousy is a problem only when it festers for too long, eating at you constantly. I’ve made my little peace with this issue for now and the episode has only made me want to better myself (to reach that writer’s excellent level). A happy ending, I think.

    Glad your mother has a more mature way of handling jealousy – very few people do. Perhaps she can give us some tips, via you?

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