Wednesday, January 12, 2011


i hate feeling jealous.  hate it. hate it. hate it.  but sometimes, i swear, it just sneaks into my brain without me realizing whats going on. this picture is actually of my two year old son but i feel just like this when i'm jealous of someone else.  i feel inadequate and insecure and  i want to pout and scream and stomp my foot on the floor really hard.
the weirdest thing is that the moment i actually became a published author i became more jealous of other published authors than i ever had been before.  can anyone explain this to me?
i've been asked to speak to a group of young girls in my church about unity and how to celebrate other people's accomplishments.  um, pretty sure i'm still learning this.  don't get me wrong.  i try to be a kind, loving person and in general its easy for me to celebrate the success of others.  especially when they're success has absolutely nothing to do with my own ambitions.
but when someone has accomplished something that i want to accomplish (how dare they?)  i get all twisted and bent out of shape and i feel that horrible, pouty feeling taking over my brain.  
i don't do it on purpose. 
i don't wake up in the morning determined to harbor bitter feelings towards authors who have found success.  but it just happens.  why is that?
i often check out blogs of other authors in order to find inspiration from their work, to feel like i'm part of a community and to gain strength from their wisdom.  so why do i so often log off my computer feeling... (in a word) dumpy? 
i hear myself thinking things like,
"i'll never write a book as good as them." 
"they are so much more creative than i am."
or even more idiotic and child-like,
"what? she writes young adult novels too?  how dare she?" 
i received a comment the other day from a great writer/blogger (Donna Weaver you know who you are) who quoted someone that said authors struggle with feelings of obscurity.  That we feel like our hard work will never be noticed amongst the millions of other books that are sitting on the shelves. 
its so true. 
and when we're already lacking self confidence in our own accomplishments it is that much harder to celebrate the accomplishments of others.   
so i'm making a serious and conscious goal starting yesterday to stop it! to stop putting myself down.  to stop comparing myself to everyone else.  to stop feeling like i'm less of a person because someone else is succeeding.  it's pointless.  it's damaging and i'm not going to let myself be hindered by it anymore!
i'm going to monitor my jealous feelings for the next three weeks (that's when i speak to the girls in my church) and see if my insides aren't feeling more like this:

i'll let you know how it goes!


  1. Natalie, Steven Covey addresses this problem in his book about the Seven Habits. See

    It revolves around what he calls the Abundance Mentality (versus the Scarcity Mentality). If you google "abundance mentality," you will get a load of material that might be useful to you in your study. See

    Such an outlook stems from a healthy sense of self-worth. The Scarcity Mentality is born of low self-worth.

  2. Wow. And what a cerebral discussion this is! (I gasped when I saw your shoutout, Natalie. *hugs*). I had to go and look up Michael's reference. I've read a bit of Covey but am not familiar with those Mentalities.

    Personally, I think you and I probably know the source of some of those feelings, especially if you've been asked to teach a YW class.

    I don't think I find myself "jealous" of the success of others, but I do compare myself with them (as you mentioned do too), and I inevitably come up lacking. Makes me think of that movie "A Knights Tale".

    "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting."

    I read these fabulous books by my favorite authors and then question how I could possbily dream of being published. How could I possibly compare with them?

    I just finished "The Way of Kings" by Brandon Sanderson. It's amazing. I want to write a review of it for my blog, but I'm going to have to stew on it for a bit. There's just too much to digest all at once there. It's so wonderful that I could feel dimished because I could never create anything like that.

    But you know, that's okay. There's room for what I write (and hope some day to publish) just as there's room for your sweet story (I got my book by the way and have begun reading it).

    While I think Sanderson is absolutely brilliant and he gets my brain churning so much that I can hardly sleep at night, there are people who wouldn't enjoy his story at all. I've got a coworker who would never pick up a 1001 page book, yet she loves everything I've written so far.

    Good luck with your lesson.

  3. thanks you two. what you both had to say rang so true. mike - i'm definitely going to look at what covey had to say. maybe i'll reference it in my presentation!
    and donna, as always, i love your internal thoughts and i feel so lucky that you share them on this blog. i was just thinking the yesterday after writing this... "why should i care that there are a lot of young adult books out there? when was the last time a young adult (or anyone for that matter) read just one book? the world should have an endless supply of books because we as a human race are continuously reading books!" that gave me an even stronger resolve to be happy about other authors, their book and their successes.
    thanks again you guys!