You should be inspired by me.
All of you.
Every single one of you reading this, should find me an inspiration for success in your writing career.
Well, because, let’s face it, if I can make money at this writing lark, any fucker can.
I am not a good writer.
Hell, on a good day I’m barely mediocre; but people seem to like my work and keep coming back for more, so I must be doing something right. You lot reading this should take comfort in the fact that you’re a better writer than me and therefore, if you’re not already having some success then it’s surely just around the corner.
Or you’re doing something slightly wrong. In which case, all you have to do is fix that something and you’re off!
Actually, I’m going to rephrase the opening sentence: If you consider yourself to be further down the success totem pole than me, then you should find it inspiring that someone with less talent than you is doing reasonably well. If, on the other hand, you consider yourself to be further up the success totem pole (perhaps by that weird dragon/eagle thing about half-way up? You know, the one with Jeremy Paxman’s face) then you should probably just revel in the fact your obviously superior talent has carried you further.
But you know what? People are rarely inspired by others’ success. Instead of looking at someone and going:
“Fuck it, if he can do it, so can I!”
We tend to go:
“What’s wrong with me? Why aren’t I getting the same breaks? How come he has more success than me when I’m obviously better?”
Shut the fuck up. Stop whining, for fuck’s sake.
It’s not like success is in limited supply.
Well, okay, technically it is; but it’s not THAT limited.
Be pleased for other people’s success, find out how they achieved it and then do something similar. Be inspired by the thought your peers are progressing and congratulate them.
And mean it, because it is hard and it’s fantastic when people succeed. Plus, on a purely selfish note, pride and joy leave you feeling better and more capable of writing than jealousy – which is the wasp of emotions; completely fucking pointless and just upsets the entire picnic.
It’s hard not to be jealous sometimes, but it really doesn’t help so don’t do it. I’ll tell you a secret which might help … there’s no such thing as talent.
There’s just hard work and applying that hard work in a way that makes sense to you.
Luck is another function of hard work. Lucky people work hard to get themselves into a position where they can be lucky.
In that context, being jealous of someone for having more success is actually just being jealous because they’ve worked harder (or possibly smarter) than you. So, you know, wind your neck in, send them a congratulatory email and keep plugging away.
Remember the golden rule: I’m doing okay and you lot must, by default, be better writers than me – therefore all you have to do is keep going and it will all pay off.
You know, this post sounded better in my head.