I am not a jealous person, generally speaking. I’m very happy with my life and I view the success of my peers with excitement. I tend to see us all as in this thing together. If a friend of mine gets a book published I feel in some small way like I’m a part of that triumph (especially when I’ve given feedback or support). As writers we need our community to cheer us on.
When I was in school I had a professor tell me to be prepared. That some day a friend would publish something that made me jealous and that it would be a difficult thing to deal with. I scoffed. Not me.
Well aren’t those words delicious?
A past creative partner just hit the jackpot with his most recent project and I have to admit that I’m jealous. I hate it, but I am, and the thing is, I feel justified. The reason I no longer collaborate with this individual is that I didn’t like how he worked. As an analogy, say he was a writer who taught undergrads and basically took advantage of everyone around him to complete his current successful piece – stealing ideas, not giving credit, etc. (he’s not, exactly, and he didn’t, quite, but I feel this analogy gives a sense of why I’m angry without giving away the guy’s (or gal’s) actual identity).
So now he’s a big success. Ug. Puke. Why him? He got lucky, that’s all. I still have no intention of ever working with him again, but it makes me wonder – do you have to be a dick to get ahead as a creative professional?
I maintain that good work speaks for itself and that lying and cheating your way to the top will earn you a limited stay. Maybe I’m being naive. I suppose time will tell.