I sort of stumbled into writing Spanking Romance. I mean, if you count a lifetime of being a closeted spankophile who also writes tumbling into it. But basically, I discovered the genre existed, immediately typed out a 25,000 word novella in a week, had it published 2 weeks later, and made a crap-ton of money on it. Not all of my books worked like that, but I had a lot of successes in my first year and a half of publication. Before you shove a boot up my butt, I’ll tell you that I had a long slump of flops in the year that followed. Happily, I’ve had a few successes again this year, so it feels like things are on an upward trajectory again. That’s the biz, right?
There will be ups and down in your career. There are trends, and readers are fickle. They like new and shiny. What happened that year that sucked for me? Maybe I became old hat. Maybe there was such a glut of new fabulous writers I couldn’t hold their attention span. Maybe it just wasn’t my year. Maybe it was the universe pushing me to reinvent myself–to try a new genre, a new name. To move out of my comfort zone.
Success is not based on quality. It can’t be, because my very first novella was a big hit and, well, I don’t think I was that good back then. At least I sincerely hope my writing has improved immensely in the last three years. And we all know the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy wasn’t the very best in the genre, and yet it made $95 million in one year. Who knows? Maybe E.L. James’ stars were just aligned. Should you feel jealous of her? No. Because it means your stars will be aligned at some point, too. Maybe not to the same extent, but know that whatever way your ship comes in, it will be perfect for you. That’s what I remind myself, anyway.
Comparing yourself to others. It’s tragically what we often do. I’d like to be able to say I’ve never been jealous of another author’s success. It would be a lie. I’ve had successes as an author and I’ve had big failures. When you’re in a slump it’s easy to look around at everyone who’s doing better and grit your teeth, wondering “why did that book succeed rather than mine?” Comparing ourselves to others happens. I’m pretty sensitive to people’s energy, and I’ve certainly felt jealousy from many of my own colleagues when my sales were up.
I also admit to housing the green-eyed monster. I’ve even been jealous of authors who are my closest friends. Did that serve me? Not in the least. In fact, I’m here to tell you today how damaging it can be. First of all, it puts you in a place of lack. Rather than cataloging your own successes (no matter how small– they are all successes!), you’re looking at what you don’t have. That’s a recipe for failure, as anyone who has studied the law of attraction knows. You can’t align with what you want in your life when you’re busy focusing on what you don’t have. You need to be in a place of flow, and stopping to look at how green the grass is on the other side isn’t being in flow.
“High water floats all boats”
How do you shift out of jealousy?
- Acknowledging that your ego has reared its head. Just being aware of it is sometimes all you need to shift.
- Love your own books/writing. Go back and read your favorite and remind yourself what a kick-ass author you are. When you’re in a state of love/appreciation, it’s easy to find flow to attract your own successes, which will naturally be different from someone else’s, because you are a beautiful and unique writer.
- Forgive yourself for experiencing envy. Forgive yourself immediately every time you notice it.
- Set your intention to transform your jealousy and feelings of lack. Celebrate your colleague’s successes. Know that high water floats all boats. If readers are buying their books, they’re going to love yours, too.
Check in this week. How do you compare yourself to others authors? How do you compare people in your life in general? Does it serve you? Remember, when we attack others we are directly attacking ourselves.
Leave me a comment and let me know if any of this sounds familiar and what you do when you find yourself comparing to others.