by June Hur
In this case:
a. You think you are a bad writer
b. For at least a moment you doubt your writing talent
c. Being beaten by 2000+ reviews ruins your day completely
d. You read over the story you were once proud of, which now fills you with shame
e. You grind your teeth
f. You feel discontent with yourself
g. You are indifferent and still think you’re the best writer
If you chose “g” then . . . you’re a lucky duck. But, generally speaking, Writerly Jealousy or Writerly Low Self-Esteem is a common cold that many writers suffer once, or several times, throughout their writing career.
However, even though there will always be writers better than you, you cannot allow jealousy, or the feeling of inferiority, eat away at your love of writing. You need to turn this negative emotion into a fuel that will drive you to want to write better.
Many of the biographies I’ve read were about writers who did not receive instant recognition. Many were about writers who died and then became famous. If these writers, who are now deemed to be literary geniuses, had listened to the voice that said “Why write when there are so many others better than you?” we would have a very small collection of classics in our library. And that would suck for us.
Likewise, I’ll wager that there are some of you, right now, who are reading this article and shaking your head, saying that you love writing, but are a not-good-enough of a writer. Yet I can just see your life being made into one of those Hollywood movies: Writer loves to write, writes a story, is crushed by the reviews (or the lack thereof), goes through a period of depression, is sent to a therapist, then is locked up in a psychiatric hospital for years, and finally decides to give writing another try, and ends up in a crowd of flashing cameras and news reporters and fans. Movie ends; the credits will roll. The audiences in the theatre will sniffle and wipe their teary eyes on their way out. They’ll slip out their phones while lining up in the washroom, tweeting: If you love to write, persevere, and your passion will shine through.
June Hur is the author of The Runaway Courtesan. She is currently awaiting the responses of two agents that requested a partial of her manuscript. When she is not working on her next book, she can usually be found at a book shop, searching for a Great Love Story to read and analyze. You can follow her on Twitter or through her blog.