It’s July, and that means a brand new blog theme. This month is Jealous July on my blog, and we’re starting with a guest post from a friend and fellow author. It’s interesting, when I came up with the idea of featuring specific themes on my blog each month, I made it simple: I used words starting with the same letter as the month. Mad May, Jello Shot June, Jealous July, Anything Goes August, etc.
Then, when it came time to invite other authors to takeover my blog, I considered the words I’d chosen. Mad May, I decided, would focus on antagonists, such as whether it’s how authors write them or what made them tick. It’s my opinion that a great story needs a fabulous antagonist. Jello Shot June was another easy one – so many books involve drinking, whether it causes characters to make good or bad decisions, or one of the characters is a bartender or restaurant owner by trade. I gathered lots of new drink recipes from that feature.
And then there’s Jealous July. In truth, I presumed authors would feature characters from their books. Jealousy is a powerful emotion, and it’s a great motivator to move a story forward. In fact, jealousy is a key aspect of the book I am currently working on (Lightbearer #4). It’s an especially common aspect of romance novels.
While that is, indeed, what most of my guests will discuss this month, it is not what my very first guest chose to write about. And in truth, I’m super excited to bring you her guest post, because as I read it for the first time, I thought, I feel exactly the same way. Because she wrote about jealousy – her own jealousy. You know, reality. The way we have all felt (or do feel) at one time or another. It’s such a real post, so honest, and so raw. And I’m so proud she chose to let me publish it on my blog. With that intro, I bring you Sheri Williams, and her Jealous July guest post:
Today I’m going to talk about the dark side of being an author. Or even better, being an author who has a lot of friends who are authors. Friends who have sold more books. Or gotten signed to a really good publishing house. Or who have hit the top of the Amazon best sellers list. Friends who have done all that while I’m still plugging away, trying desperately to get people to see me standing next to them. Jealousy. It’s an ugly thing. Hell I don’t even like the look of the word. It stares at you, looking deep, and finding all those little black spots in your soul that you thought you had under control.
And no one talks about it. No one acknowledges that it’s normal. Cause it is. It’s an absolutely normal part of the human condition. We all try to fight it. We all try to deny it, but it’s there. Never going away. I’m not saying it’s good or cool. It’s not. But it’s not the worst thing in the world, either. I’m not a liar. I’m not a thief. I’m not a murder. But I am jealous. I want to be doing great. Selling books. Winning awards. Going to conferences. But right now, all I can do it keep working toward those goals. Because someday I will get there. And it will more than likely be with the help of those I am jealous of. Because I love them. And they are awesome. And despite my jealousy, I am also proud as fuck of them. Because they are doing it. Every day working toward the same goals.And I bet if you asked and they chose to be honest, they might admit to being a tiny bit jealous, too.
And ya know what? I’m gonna own that shit. I am jealous. It doesn’t make me love you or respect them less. If anything it makes me work harder. And anything that makes me work harder is a good thing in my mind. And now it sounds like I’m saying jealousy is a good thing, and I’m not sure if that is true. But for me, in this one case, being jealous of my friends’ accomplishments is making me work harder so I can have those accomplishments, too, (not the same exact ones, that would be greedy) and those opportunities that come with being accomplished. So there. That’s my big secret. I love my author friends. But I’m jealous of their success. But, I’m not letting it eat at me and tear me down. I’m using it as a kick in the ass to get me to their level. So then maybe someone starting out will be jealous of me, too. And maybe I’ll extend the same hand my friends have given me and I’ll help someone out. Because that would be awesome! Don’t you think?
Sheri Williams is an author who suffers from self diagnosed Author Multiple Personality Disorder. She started writing Romance, sweet and sexy, and has since started Gothic Horror, with a side project in Psychological Horror.
As well as being a writer, she is a wife, a mom, a geek. When not writing she can be found playing outside with her two daughters or binging on BBC shows on Netflix.
She is currently working on two projects for Booktrope’s new Forsaken Imprint, and a short that will be a part of Bewitching Desires, an anthology put out with some fellow Writing Wenches.