Article in The Writer about How to Handle Envy of Other Authors

I’m quoted in an article entitled “Little Green Monsters: The 411 on Writer Envy” by Ryan G. Van Cleave in the August 2017 issue of the magazine The Writer (pages 31-31). This is one of the largest circulation magazines for writers in the world. My poem “April Concert” was published in The Writer in November, 1979. I subscribed to this magazine for several decades. It was exciting to see myself quoted there today.

Here is what I told Van Cleave:

Unpublished writers feel envy more often because they may doubt their capacity to produce high quality work or feel very frustrated by the many hurdles that face unknown authors. Just as athletes need to practice for a long time before they can play professionally, most writers need to develop their talent for years before they get much recognition.

I advise writers to use the energy from envy to spur themselves to revise their manuscripts, join a critique group of experienced writers to get feedback, research which firms publish the kind of work that we write, and send manuscripts out to more editors, agents, and publishers. Wallowing in envy is a waste of energy, but challenging ourselves to become better authors is a constructive way to divert the envy into creative products.

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