Feb 26

U Jelly?

The other day I was checking out an author’s website, skim reading their biography and flicking through their published works. Some I recognised, some I stuck on my (TBBT)TBR* pile. And then I hit a line that tickled my little green monster:

I have been writing for bugger all time and have a squillion stories in superdupercrazy anthologies and under supermegaace publishing houses!

Of course I’m paraphrasing – nobody says mega nowadays…do we? Do we still say ‘mega’? Somebody find a cool kid and ask them.

Anyway, when I read the line I instantly stuck my tongue out and blew a mega loud raspberry. All those decent stories in such a short time? You bastard!

I didn’t doubt the truth of the statement, the biography read like a who’s who of extraordinary publishers and anthologies, and those guys don’t publish tosh. It wasn’t disbelief I was feeling…it was jealousy.

This successful git, with their talent and their dedication – how dare they be more successful than me when I’ve been writing longer than they have?

But the more I thought about it the more I wondered…

Do we have the right to be jealous of more successful authors?

It’s not like they barged past me in the ‘luck’ and ‘skill’ queues and took more than their fair share. Barring secret visits from Stephen King and Dean Koontz in the middle of the night – dressed as ninjas and correcting the author’s work – they more than likely had the same opportunities as I did. And the same problems.

They’ll have a job, and a family, and responsibilities, worries, doubts, and bills, and…

And a better ethos.

They worked harder, and longer, and gave up less. They stuck at it, every day, didn’t fanny about on Facebook, Twitter, boobies.com and all the other distractions that bog you down. Of course I’m guessing – they might actually be an incredibly lucky SOB and just poop the work out in the middle of the night.

Oh no, I crapped the bed…oh, wait – it’s another bum novel. Brilliant!

So instead of feeling envious I’m going to feel inspired. I’m going to take a leaf out of unnamed’s book – preferably a well written one that leads to a short story – and step up my game. I’m going to work harder on getting a ‘published works’ list together that will piss off inspire someone else.

Which means I’d better stop faffing about on WordPress and…

*(To Be Bought Then) To Be Read

Harder, better, faster, stronger!

Harder, better, faster, stronger!


  1. Patsy

    I sometimes say mega. I’m definitely not a cool kid though. Or an uncool kid. Or a cool adult.

    Using jealousy to spur you on to get good results yourself sounds like an excellent plan. Tongue sticking out and raspberry blowing has its place though.

  2. Jennifer Thomson

    I try and look at the success other writers have as a way of saying – “You can do it too.”

    1. Steven Chapman

      It feels like I’m a fat man (alright not feels like – am) stealing glances at thin people while I stand in front of a mirror. Seeing them should be inspirational, but sometimes it makes me want to wallow in bed and gargle Ben & Jerrys.

Leave a Reply