Welcome to Minisode 1 of Alchemy for Authors!
In this short episode I share my thoughts around Author Envy: what it is, what it’s trying to tell us, and how it might just be a sign that what we desire is closer than we think.
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Find the full transcript of this episode below.
Minisode 1: Author Envy
Jo: Hello, my lovelies. Welcome to my first mini in-between-y episode of Alchemy for Authors, hence forth called a minisode. I had mentioned I wanted to give this format a go in Episode 70: Manifestation Practices for the New Year. They’ll be much shorter solos in between my regular episodes. They won’t necessarily be in-between every full episode, just as inspiration strikes. But here we are, inspiration has struck.
I want to talk briefly about author envy. I’m sure somewhere along the way you’ve felt this. Maybe it hits you as comparisonitis, jealousy – I mean, you work hard, you’re doing all the things, and yet why is that person with far fewer books kicking your ass? Or maybe it just shows itself as it does for me, as that unexpected “ick” that creeps up out of nowhere, and no matter how hard you try and push it down it makes you wonder if maybe, in some way, you’re just not cut out for this author thing. Yesh.
So, over the last few days, I’ve seen this theme of author envy pop up in a few ways, each time catching me off guard. It was just through interviewing and just generally chatting with amazing authors – full-time authors – talking about their goals and their plans for the year ahead, and me knowing that I’m going to have to pull back on my long list of exciting projects for the year because, well, I have a very time-consuming day job.
I also felt it in the reminder that the first year of starting a new job, in the past, hasn’t proven itself all that conducive to me getting many books written.
I saw author envy pop up in hearing an incredibly prolific author, who’s published over 100 books, lament that she envied those of us booked to attend signing events this year. She’d never done one.
It was in hearing a wonderful author friend of mine compare herself to me and express that she felt she hadn’t done enough this week towards her writing goals, despite obviously having some other emotionally trying things going on in her life.
So why do we do this to ourselves, and what can we do when we feel like we’re failing or falling behind or just lacking in some way? First, we need to stop. We need to take a moment to recognize the feeling for what it is. Something in us is trying to tell us something. A part of us wants more. The power of envy is in its ability to help us redirect our attention – if we’re willing to listen.
So take the time to ask yourself these questions or journal them out:
- How much do we really want what they have?
- What would we be willing to give up or do to get it?
- Is what that person has actually something we want or is it just the idea of it? Do you really want that orange bestseller sticker on your book on Amazon or are you actually just looking for more validation of your writing from those closest to you? Sometimes the thing we want isn’t actually the thing we want. Sometimes we’re actually just wanting the feeling we think having that thing will give us.
- So once you’ve worked out what it is you want what it is that you really want, what small thing or what small steps could you take today to move that needle closer to it?
Consider, particularly if you’re a fan of manifestation and the like, could it be that the universe is showing you what you want as a reminder to you that it is possible? I’ve heard one popular practitioner of manifestation say that it’s actually the universe telling you that what you desire is on its way to you. So notice it and appreciate the moment. “Yes, please. I’ll have that too, thanks.”
Remember to also give yourself grace in the moment. You’re human. It’s okay to feel those jabs of envy and comparisonitis. It’s normal to compare yourself to others from time to time. Just don’t dwell there. Nobody has it all together. We’re all just doing the best we can with where we’re at. And there’s always someone seemingly doing this life thing and author thing better than us. But we also know that just like with the characters we write in our stories, there is always more going on under the surface. What people project to the world is never the whole story.
And even as you feel author envy arise, know that someone is out there feeling that same thing towards you. If it helps, take a moment and list out all those things you’ve achieved and are proud of, big and small, since starting this wonderful and crazy creative path. I bet you’ve achieved more than you realize.
Your author envy, it’s that part of you, your higher self, or whatever you may call it, begging for your attention, asking you to re-examine what is and isn’t working for you, showing you the possibilities available to you in the guise of someone else’s achievements. Thank that feeling in the moment. Tell the universe: “Yes, please. I’ll have what they’re having, thanks!”
And lastly, remember that you are exactly where you need to be, where you’re supposed to be, right now, in this moment. You may not know why, but where you’re at is where you’re at. I truly believe there’s a reason and purpose for everything.
Where you’re headed, my friend, well that is completely up to you.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s minisode. Rating, reviewing, tagging me on Instagram, or sharing this with a friend is always greatly appreciated. Also, you can DM me on Instagram @jobuerauthor or @alchemyforauthors, and let me know your thoughts on including more of these future minisodes. Next week I will be back with a regular full episode, and it’s a goodie! So, until then, my friend, happy writing.