Is there envy or jealousy within the writing community?

On our recent oceanside holiday we had regular nightly visitors. Along with twilight came the geese, in several gaggles of varying numbers.

Geese Arriving

They didn’t come ashore, but found convenient logs on which they claimed a spot to settle for the night.

Geese Settling

Their attitude toward one another was fascinating. In flight, it’s known that the lead bird of the typical V-formation will bear the brunt of the wind resistance, with all the others gaining benefit of the upwash from the bird ahead. The front position is rotated periodically to share the flight fatigue among the others in the flock. It’s an aerodynamic thing.

But when it came to sharing a resting spot on that log, some of the more dominant members weren’t as cooperative.

This one, for instance. I don’t know what the criteria was for a comfortable nighttime perch — most of the others spaced themselves out —  but he challenged any bird that approached the log he had claimed. He wanted it all for himself. His attitude eventually was his undoing, when his antics started the log rolling. It became a birling competition… goose versus log. Guess who lost?

Lucy Goose

This is MY spot!



Goose Shove Off

Shove off, bud!



Oops!!! Can someone lend a hand... um, a wing, please?

Oops!!! Can someone lend a hand… um, a wing, please?










Greed, selfishness and envy are very unpleasant emotions, often more so for the person experiencing them than the one to whom they might be directed. In the writer’s world there are many opportunities for the green-eyed monster to raise its nasty head. Between blog awards, contest wins, new contracts, best seller list placements, sales numbers and book awards, someone is always mounting a pinnacle of success ahead of others who look on, regretting that it isn’t them.

And yet… and yet, I’ve found there is very little jealousy evident. Oh, I don’t mean there’s no wishing, but at the same time most writers I’ve encountered seem genuinely happy about the successes of their peers. Any announcement of special achievement is met with collective happy dancing and abundant congratulations. Maybe it’s because we’re all well aware of the steep climb everyone has endured on the journey.

There is an expansive community within the writers’ circle, one enriched by camaraderie and support. That goose could learn a thing or two from them.

Have you had any experience with envy or jealousy during your pursuit of publication? How did you deal with it?


Swimming Goose


5 thoughts on “Is there envy or jealousy within the writing community?

  1. I am pretty new to the writing community and have been blown away by how supportive and encouraging my fellow writers are.

  2. Judith Robl says:

    Just like your selfish goose, when we indulge in envy or malice, we choke our own creativity. You cannot be envious and productive at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive.

  3. territiffany says:

    Some very good points. I havent found myself jealous of anyone, just excited. It’s like we’re all in this together. Some just move a little faster than others.

  4. I’ve been envy plenty of times. Never did me much good though, and generally only lasted a few moments. If it didn’t, I learned for my own sake to stay away from that particular author. Strange, eh? Maybe it has something to do with being the youngest and receiving all those hand-me-downs. Haha. Otherwise, I really am a nice person. Ooh, I just imagined my dear mother cringing in heaven.

  5. Carol says:

    I’m a little late responding, but thanks to each of you for your feedback. Who hasn’t wished another’s success was their own? But I like Terri’s comment that some move into it a little faster than others. I guess in place of envy, more patience and perseverance is a better alternative.

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