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Author Envy or Jealousy And How NOT To Fall Into It!

This post was originally posted in 2012. Unfortunately I have succumbed to this whole jealousy thing again! It's so sad because as you will read on...things have not changed. The only thing that has changed is the fact I'm considered a Hybrid author; meaning I'm self published and traditionally published. 
The saddest part about this whole jealous things is there are no lines. Jealousy and author envy are higher than ever. . . .enjoy!
This post was originally posted in January, but lately I have seen a lot of jealousy going on in the indie community and this post got a lot of attention then, so I hope to spread it around again. Please be sure to facebook, tweet, and social media to death this post. 

It's a sad day when a member of the indie community publicly scorns another indie author. It's classless to do these things. I live by the saying "actions speak louder than words." Always take the high road when and indie is blatantly trying to destroy another author, no matter which side is right. 

If you have an issue with another author,  do the right thing and contact them off line to let them know your issues with them. The writing community is very small and it may very well come back one day and bit you in the butt. OR Karma will get you.

"That Susie Q, she's.... God, bless her heart."
This is the southern way to put someone down, but make it sound like you aren't gossiping. How do I know this? I'm southern as can be, and grew up with a lot of these sayings.
Another great lesson you learn when you are southern. . . don't be jealous. It's not a good quality to have and it's the best form of flattery.
It's the biggest white elephant among writers. But why?
This is something I've never ever understood. I've always been taught to be happy for everyone and be considerate of other's feelings no matter what journey their life takes them on. After all, it's their story to tell, not mine. But I do encourage and cheer for my fellow author friends. Why? Because it's good moral spirit. It's good to pay it forward, not to mention good Karma!

But why are so many writers/authors jealous or envious of each other?

This writing life is so up and down. And there will always be someone ahead of you and behind you. So why not embrace each other? Who else knows what it's like to be a writer other than another writer?

I go on and on about writing 24/7, telling my husband how much my protagonist wasn't cooperating in a scene. Does he really understand?
No! He pretends he does, as most good husband do, but he doesn't.

This is when we, authors, should be able to talk and share, not be jealous of each other's success. I've been published for one year and have sold over 150k ebooks. I've come across some really GREAT cheerleaders and some really green monsters!

For a bit,  you align yourself with both, especially on line. Then after a while, you begin to get the emails that are a little snarky or the Facebook messages that question why you did something. The real person you have aligned yourself with begins to shine through.

This is where you begin to ask the question about those deep feelings in your stomach as to whether these people are good for you, for your career.

This is when you need to step back, take a deep breath, and remember this is your career, not someone else.
Claim your positive attitude back! Do something nice for another author! Give a deserving author a shout out, a plug, a good review (if you've read their book), truly pay it forward with out expecting anything back. And soon you will be rid of those negative, jealous authors.

You ARE not one of them! You are positive. You pay it forward!
The Absolute Writer has a great article on jealousy in the writing community here.

Besides, jealousy can really zap your mojo and you could be putting all your energy into your writing. Put those emotions into your writing. Make a great scene by digging deep into those feelings, put them on the page and I bet you end up with a great scene!

Patti Hill, author and blogger at Novel Matters has another great article on jealousy.


  1. That's a very positive post Tonya, but I think some people are just meanies whatever they do in life. I must say you have a nice looking blog here, in fact I'm a bit envious, jealous even, of its nice interactive widgets and colours. Could be a new post for me - Blog envy?
    Only joking.

  2. Hi, Jonathan! Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment. I'm so glad you stopped by.
    There are a lot of meanies out there and I just don't get it. I really do hope that other authors take my advice and really pay it forward without expecting anything in return. It's good for the soul and will put those green monsters at bay!

  3. Tonya - very nice post. I totally agree. I love to see people do well and I don't look at it as a bad thing when they do better then me. The literary world is a place to share - it is not a competition amongst ourselves. There is plenty of room for everyone. I mean come on, Do you think people are just going to buy a few books and never read again! No - they will always be looking for more to read. There is always room for more books and more great authors!

  4. Very true, Stacy. Jealousy is something I really don't understand. When I see other authors do well, it makes me want to work even harder. I love to promote others and hope that they get something from it when I do There is plenty for everyone! Thank you for stopping by!

  5. Great post Tonya!
    I'm blessed to have some very successful author friends (Including you, my dear :) and I've gone through the phases of poor me, but decided those thoughts have absolutely no purpose, except to make me miserable and ruin great friendships. You are right on the money, Tonya. We need to be cheering other authors on and keep believing we will fulfill our own goals in the right time.

  6. Very well said, Tonya. I don't get jealousy or game-playing among authors, either... I do my very best to steer clear of it! :) Here's to wonderful, supportive writer friends!

  7. While I can see how one might get jealous, I don't. i find my fellow authors inspiring. We all work for ourself and our books, and that's just what other people are doing too. Great post!

  8. For most of my life, I believe, I've tended to be curiously UN-jealous of others. Whether it's their wealth, power, position, appearance, or success. The people I like --- I like for who they ARE ... not what they HAVE or what they've accomplished.
    There are bitter, angry, resentful -- and jealous -- people in all walks of life ... and I've had the misfortune to bump into more than my share. I have concluded that virtually nothing would change their basic demeanor/attitude ... not even if they suddenly attained all those (things) which have been viewed with such jealousy and venom. Un-happy people remain un-happy ... no matter where they are or how wealthy/successful.
    Well-grounded people with joy in their lives can be happy in the worst circumstances/conditions.
    Now, to bring it back to writers: I don't think I'm jealous of any writer. I do find that I'm slightly indignant when I see someone with very little talent somehow manage to sell multiple millions of copies, get movie deals, etc., and I don't think their writing 'deserves' such acclaim. Is that jealousy? Or logical observation?

  9. Yes, Lorie! Those thoughts don't have a purpose. I just find it interesting that when authors who are jealous of others, can't seem to get past it. They want to bring us down with them. I have no use for that. It's very sad that we all can't support each other. I'm blessed to have great writer friends like you too!

  10. Cheers to that, Talli! There seems to be a lot more of it with in the US community and I just don't get it. As soon as someone like that worms their way into my life, I jump ship.

  11. Inspiring is a great way to look at it Chicklitgoddess. When I see those inspiring authors, I tweet them, repost their Facebook messages, and just be a great PR buddy.

  12. Jeff, I love that! "Well-grounded people with joy in their lives can be happy in the worst circumstances/conditions." YES!!! It's the negative people who love to create tension/conspiracy theories/mean-spirited that aren't the well-grounded authors. Your statement is true on so many levels. And it's a shame that those authors, who are so talented, create a bad image for themselves with their jealous tendencies.

  13. Good post Tonya. I was surprised when I began writing to find examples of that envy/jealousy. I somehow thought we like-minded people would support each other and pull together. Ah, well.

  14. I'm glad you addressed this topic. There's too much nastiness in the writing community and I think a lot of comes from jealousy.

  15. Jealousy never does anyone good. For the person who is jealous, it eats them alive. It interferes with their writing, turns off others who read or hears their snarky comments. ESPECIALLY when you use a review to attack a fellow author.

    It's a bitterness to the bones and it can make the one who has it very bitter.

    I'm with you, cheer each other on. Say something nice. Do I envy some of the things others have accomplished? Sure. I'm human. But it never goes beyond that twinge.

    Writers are really part of a small community.Be kind, be supportive. If you can't, then shut up.


  16. Great post, Tonya! You are so right!! We need to be supportive of each other. It's so sad that some have to be jealous (critical, nasty and mean spirited) over others success. Each success needs to be celebrated!

    BTW, I didn't realize "... bless her heart," was a southern slam:)!

  17. Barb, like you, I was surprised too. People can talk a good talk, but when you get the know them, they can be very catty writers. I don't feel that way at all. I love to see everyone do well!

  18. Hi, Diana! The writing community is sooooo small that I don't think these authors realize that their words are heard around the world. That's why I say JUMP SHIP!! Don't let those negative nellies get you down:))

  19. Sia, I completely agree. The writing community is so small. All those nasty comments get around, especially as soon as they are made. It doesn't do anybody any good to have nasty remarks or comments about industry professionals. Authors that treat people this way are so unprofessional and I just can't align myself with them or their negative energy.
    I live by my words and pay it forward without expecting anything back. It's great because it feeds my spirit and makes me want to keep going, do better. Thanks for stopping!

  20. Tonya, I would just like to jump in on the conversation. Your writing is fresh, I have read a lot of books in the same category as yours. The jealousy comes from your type of writing you do. You just don't read anything like your books. That's why you are becoming so successful! You put your heart and soul into your writing,your blogs, and all the teachings you do for other author's to help them along their journey. Honestly you have become a huge part of self published, and That is why jealousy is coming your way! No one thought of how to write like you, because it is yours to claim! I know you won't change because of a little negativity,the people who surround you have hope,and belief because of the person you are. I love your books, I love the way you write, and guess what so do everybody else, and that's why your success has hit those jealous people so hard! They just can't write like you, so boohoo for them, negative energy will get them no where! I have seen your determination and your dreams come true! Loyalty to your readers and writing will just continue to show your dedication to what you do! Keep it up girl! You prove to me dreams do come true!

  21. YES, Maria!! Let's celebrate!!! It's so much for fun. Hahahaa! I love how we southern women try to make things better when we say, God bless her heart;)

  22. I've always subscribed to the "play nice" theory and love hearing about other writers' success. White there are usually bits of jealousy mixed in with my happiness, I've always acknowledged it, then pushed it aside. This is such a big world and a girl can never have enough friends. :)

  23. In my opinion jealousy is fear manifesting itself. It's the belief that there isn't enough to go around. It's a false belief. There is plenty to go around many times over. It's easier to succeed in a group than as an individual. But if you can only see lack and live life in survival mode, you feel the need to attack others for their portion. You can't get more by demand. Become more valuable as one of my favorite mentors advises. You have proven the value of your work Tonya. Take joy in that. :)

  24. No time for jealousy. Or energy.

  25. I had a friend who always used to ask me about my book progress, and finally I was able to tell her that I had put my murder mystery out on Kindle and Nook.

    "So how's it going?" she asked me.

    "It's actually going pretty well!" I said, kind of excited.

    "What - people are BUYING it??" she responded. It came out of her mouth so quickly, I think she didn't even know what she was saying. I actually burst out laughing.

    "I'll just ignore that," I said.

    She laughed a little awkwardly and then explained that she meant she was surprised since there were so many books out there - she was surprised I'd been able to find any kind of foothold. (Truthfully, so was I).

    I gave her the benefit of the doubt. And I do think that jealousy can sneak up on us all when we least expect it.

  26. Tonya,

    You posted this article at just the right time. I've recently been badly put down by two so-called friends, one is a writer whom I've known for more than 20 years, the other a former teacher, but not of writing or English. You've made me feel so much better.


    1. I think it comes from fear and anxiety--"I'm not making it, I'm not good enough, I'm not going to be able to make a go of writing." So they lash out. Of course, it doesn't work--because the people who can help you are (often) the ones who are more successful. They might know something!

      The real enemy of writers' success is non-reading. I think any good author who's read and enjoyed helps every other author, albeit indirectly, because that author causes more people to become readers, and causes readers to want to read more. Think about it--if you read one great book and love it, doesn't it make you immediately want to read another? So successful authors help us all. When "Harry Potter" went big, YA in general surged.

  27. I loved this blog and thought it was particularly funny it posted right after my interview with Sarah Lampkin. (She's a new YA author I met in my YA Sisterhood group.) You may be asking yourself why I thought it was funny? Here's what I can say: I may have humourously expressed a bit of green eyed monster, but I only in self-depricating way. As a writer, I do find jealousy hanging out in my head from time to time. As a human, I can't always contain it, but that's okay. Emotions, even the bad ones, are meant to be felt. It makes me a stronger, healthier more well rounded person and adds to my bank of personal experience which I can draw from ( for work) later on. I totally agree with realizing any over the top behavior and correcting it with good juju. Writers don't need the added stress of bad karma. We've got enough what with the ten thousand hoops we have to jump through to get our stories on paper, edited, queried, published, promoted and loved. (Well, hopefully loved.) Thanks for a great blog. I'll be a following. ;-)

  28. Tonya, forgive me for not posting yesterday when this blog came out. Up to my eyelashes, but thank you for this reminder, and also these links. You are paying it forward. Much appreciated. And when you hit the NYTimes best sellers list, I promise to cheer you on, and not be jealous. :) Wonderful blog!

  29. Thanks, Stacie. Unfortunately it's not just me that this happens to. The writing world is so, so, so small and when it does happen we all hear it. There really is no need for jealousy, there is room for everyone!

  30. Sheila, that is great that you recognize the green monster and can push it away. That is the best thing to do. When I see something I think is great from an author, I don't get jealous, I ask them "hey, teach me!"

  31. Christine! You have it! Become more of a mentor is exactly what I plan to continue to do. I hope that everyone will come by this blog and pick up something positive to use in their daily life or writing life. It's all in the tude!

  32. Oh no, Diane! I had a friend like that who always wanted to know my sales numbers and she enjoyed emailing me my bad reviews. Those people are toxic. Unfortunately with me, when I hear too many stinkin' thinkin' and negative words from people, I quietly walk away and generally they are so wrapped up in themselves that they don't notice I'm gone until weeks later.

  33. JK, I'm so glad you feel better. I have found that when someone is jealous, they are having a bad time in their life. It's them that has the deep rooted issue, not you. Remember that we can control how we deal with these green monsters:)) Good for you!

  34. Great advice, Sharazade. Like I said earlier, I don't get jealous, I asked them to teach me;)

  35. Hi, Jennifer! I'm going to hop over to your blog post. It sounds interesting!
    Oh, yeah, we all definitely have a little green monster in each of us, but it's how we use that emotion that makes up give back and have better "juju." My jealousy is more of a fascination of "how did they do it" and I simply ask. Those successful authors are generally more than generous with letting you know.

  36. Donnell, thank you so much! I'm more than willing to share any tips, tricks, or ideas with anyone who asks. I'm using this blog to share those! I hope you stay tuned.

  37. Hi, Tonya: First, I love the background of your blog. Very festive.

    Second, we all are jealous. I want to have something big published just like everyone else. However, generosity will be a greater payback than anything else we ever do.

    Good post!

  38. Thanks for the compliment, Vicki! We are all capable of jealousy, but it's how we handle the emotion that is the most important aspect. Generosity will definitely keep those ill-feelings at bay and make you feel much better in the process.

  39. Great topic, Tonya. In the writing industry, letting jealousy rule how we treat or interact with fellow writers is like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

  40. Tonya, I wanted to add that I was really, really nervous the first time I e-mailed you. I thought you were so successful, you would either not answer me, or tell me where I could put my stupid request for help. It took me about six drafts of one paragraph to send you an email!!

    I can't tell you how EXCITED I was that you were (are) so incredibly nice - to me and to other newbie writers. It made my day and gave me a big burst of writing motivation and confidence. MOST APPRECIATED!!!!

  41. Loved this--and it's very timely. Especially with the amount of info over social media--where each author's awards, accolades, etc--are tweeted or shared, maintaining that positive outlook can be a challenge. I think it's harder for indie authors, too; many of us haven't received the validation of an agent/editor/publisher, and going it alone, we tend to have more insecurities. Thanks for the reminder that we're all in this together.

  42. Thanks for stopping by Tawdra! I have to admit that there does seem to be more indie jealousy out there. They (including me) seem to be trying to find the sweet price point that will push up us above everyone or that we will find the fabulous ecentric reader blog that will propel us on those best seller lists. Only we don't have to compete! There is so many readers out there for everyone!

  43. Yes, Tina! Cutting your nose off to spite your face is very accurate.

  44. Diane, you are so sweet! I love helping anyone and everyone become the best they can be. I answer all my email and give the best advice I can. But everything I do may not work for everyone. I hope I was somewhat helpful to you. go pay it forward:))

  45. Am I jealous of other authors when they do well? Hell yeah. So what can I do about it? Park my tuckus in front of my computer and write. That's what all the these successful writers did. I also believe in helping others. My blog is not big, by any means measurable, but I will always have an open door and host other authors. #payitforward - right Tonya?

  46. Great topic Tonya. I have found the writing industry to be one of the LEAST snarky, bitchy ones I've encountered. After spending a year or two in the wedding business (and reading/ writing blogs and books associated with it), switching over to the writing community and meeting fellow authors proved to be a massive breath fresh of air! Yes you get the odd one or two jealous types, but people aren't all that competitive (relatively) and paying it forward seems to be the common attitude. Thank Gawd for that! Love my fellow authors =)

  47. great post. humans beings are just jealous creatures. can't help it. especially women. how many times have we seen a friend lose a bunch of weight or wear the same shirt better than you or get a promotion before you and said to her face "oh i'm so happy for you" and inside we're thinking "bitch!" no matter what we think on the inside, we can't let it effect our actions on the outside. then maybe eventually we won't think it on the inside anymore.

  48. Excellent post. How can you not be happy for one of your mates? It's a joyous feeling.

    Of course there are those Jerry Springer wannabees waiting in the wings.

    1. LOVE that! Jerry Springer hahahahaaa!!! Thanks Barbara!

  49. Great post, Tonya. I believe to every time there is a season and if a writer puts all their energy into writing and not being jealous or envy another writer's career, they soon will find it is their time and their season. Thank you so much, Tonya for all your great posts. You have helped me so much along my journey.

  50. Tonya I love reading your books and your blogs. You are a class act.

  51. Excellent article Tonya. It's hard me to grasp envy. My parents always tought us to envy noone because you have no idea what they had to go through or do to get what they have.

    Sharing my thoughts from my FB page:

    You'll be amazed the wonders POSITIVE energy holds! Every human being has value but negative energy sucks the fun out of everything! Keep people around you who exude positive energy.

    "In order to carry a positive action we must develop a positive vision."
    Dalai Lama

    That's why when my writer's mojo is low on fuel or I'm bored senseless, I go to Tonya's street team page and I am renewed!

  52. So needed to read this today and am glad I found your blog. Thank you so much for re-posting it. Much continued success to you and thanks for the links.


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