Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Efé's Thoughts in August


As I've become more serious in my aspirations to be a commercially successful writer, I have – guiltily – found myself battling with the toxic emotion named Jealousy, more often than I wish to admit.

I want what they have.

I want to have the reads.

I want to have the likes.

I want to have the raving reviews and comments.

I want to have the recommendations.

I want to have the million shares on Twitter and be all over social media.

I want to have the sales after sales.

I want to have the queues of lovers of my words waiting for me to sign my autograph on a copy of my book.

I want to have the tears of joy and people telling me how deeply they've been touched by my art.

I want to have the screen-adaptations of my work.

I want to have the best-seller title in my biography.

I want to have God's approval to say, “Yes, she used My gift to her wonderfully.”

I want that.

And when I see someone who has that, especially someone my age, I get sooo damn jealous, because it makes me question everything I've done in my life.

And then I throw a pity party. And when I think about giving up on writing, I realise I don't have a choice. I can only give up on writing once God has finished writing the chapters of my life.

But sometimes it's just hard to continue writing, when I'm beating myself up, because clearly my lack of progress is due to me not working hard enough. I mean what other explanations could there be that I haven't reached the heights of their fame?

Jealousy a lot of the time is what drives me to work, but a lot of the time it just drowns me in an ocean of despair. Even though it's not supposed to be so, I tend to feel sometimes that it is not Art I'm serving but instead I'm participating in a competition.

I've had times when I read Amazon or Goodreads reviews on a particular book and when I saw that the author got a negative review, I got a little too happy inside because in my head I was thinking, “Ha-ha take this bitch, your book is not so perfect afterall!”

Yes, I know jealousy isn't a good look on anyone.

But in my attempts at growing some wisdom, I realise that the 'race' is not for the fastest, so there's no reason for me to be jealous. Just because my age mates are doing and achieving what I wish to be doing and achieving, doesn't make me less of a sucessful person just where I am.

Jealousy is a powerful emotion and when you look at it in a positive light it is admiration. Use it to your advantage. The way I've been able to curb my jealousy is by studying what it is exactly I admire about that particular work and try to imitate it. Or simply compliment.

When my mind tries to push me to be bitter and jealous about someone's success or how flawlessly well a person writes, I try as quickly as possible to ignore my first inclination to brood in spite and instead I comment with a compliment.

Always comment with a compliment.

If it's our writer friends, they can one day be people we will want to collaborate with that will help us gain recognition on a bigger platform. So they way I see it is this - when I win they win, and when they win, I win too.

When you're jealous it means you're allowing your mind to focus on one thing and that's yourself. Taking the time to compliment allows a channel of communication.

If the time hasn't come yet, it means God is still rearing you and I, that's all. Our time will come.

I know my work is of heart and quality. Every word I write is from the spring of my soul and there's nothing more truthful that that and even if not today someone recognises it I know one day, they will and so being jealous is a waste of my energy and time.

One thing I hope that everyone who reads this today can take away from this blog post – and not just in the literary world but also in personal relationships, education, career and all other aspects of life - that as long as it's authenticity you are delivering, what others do and are achieving should be the furthest from your mind.

Sure seeing someone doing what you aspire to be doing, can serve as a motivator but don't let it derail you in turning your admirarion for that person in to something spiteful, because when your time comes to shine you will want everyone to put the spotlight on you.

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1 comment:

  1. This is such a good post, Caterina! Very timely too. Success seems so easily achieved by others and its easy to get caught up in thinking they have it all - believe me, I know the struggle... Don't give up your dream and keep working at your craft. God will exalt you in due time!

    Also I don't think I ever replied to your last email?! Argh! Will reply either today or tomorrow. So sorry for the delay!!!