"But Why Does She Get To?!"
Written by
Shaylen Cornwall
February 2019
Written by
Shaylen Cornwall
February 2019


Sometimes I get jealous. I know. But I can’t help it.

Sometimes I look at my life and I wonder when the living is going to start happening. When am I going to be that person I have always wanted to be? When does the writer get to take center stage? When am I going to be able to see what I’ve accomplished?

 Cuz I can’t see it now.

But do you know what I do see? I see Them living the life I want. All of Them.

I see blogs, and forums, I see book covers and signings, I see beautiful writing spaces and cute and quirky book trailers, (are those even still a thing?).  And then it’s not about seeing anymore, it’s about feeling. I feel-less than, I feel like a shmuck, I feel a tantrum coming on. I feel like I must have been sitting on the couch watching Netflix for the past fifteen years while everyone else was out being successful.

That feeling sucks. Cuz then I think, “What’s wrong with you, man?” and “Pull it together” and I say the serenity prayers over and over:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can, and

wisdom to know the difference.

But behind every word are my jumbled thoughts which are anything but serene.

When am I going to be able to see someone else’s success and rejoice? (Rejoice? Sheesh! let’s get real, I’d be happy with indifference here). Instead I brood with my nose pressed to the screen, my face casting its evil jealous green onto the feed of Successful Author’s perfect website.

Jealousy is petty, I know. It’s anti-gratitude, anti-happiness, it’s anti-biblical, that whole “thou shalt not covet thing” remember? And on top of that, it makes me feel like a crumpled old newspaper looking on while all the glittering, sleek rolls of gift-wrap get pulled off the shelf and used to cover the most wonderful gifts to make people happy. Like Puppies, and Easy-bake Ovens, and shoes. New shoes make everyone happy…But I’m the old newspaper crumpled on the floor…of the store…why is there newspaper on the floor of the store? Well, every analogy breaks down at somewhere, right?

The point, my friends is that envying someone else’s success-talent-beauty-car-house, toddler who doesn’t have day-old yogurt dried in her hair, or anything for that matter, DOES NOT serve me!

It doesn’t make me a better person and it definitely doesn’t make me a better writer, but then…My envy did get my butt in my chair long enough to pound out this little statement…and writing is what will make me a better writer so maybe…

No. I’m ditching it. Kicking you to the curb envy-jealousy-not-enough messy gob of feeling bad!

 I’m reminding myself that everything I see online is carefully crafted, it’s only ONE part of someone’s life. An author’s life, who really is in the business of selling themselves, er, their work that is…you know what I mean. So of course, everything they show the world will be their best. That makes sense. But what they don’t show are all the half-written projects, the meltdowns, the stained-sweats days, the deadlines overdue, the contracts retracted, you know, the REAL STUFF.

I’m sure the good flashy glittering stuff is real too, just like in my life. I have some sparkles too. But the other stuff? Those are the things that happen every day and sometimes it’s hard to see the glitter when it’s mixed in with…the, um, sand…you know the sand of daily life…things. And I suppose if I took the time to sift out the Sand and compile only the Sparkle into edited filtered, perfected photos I could create a beautiful looking life online as well.

Living online isn’t what I want.  I want to write. I want to live my life and I want to write in a way that will touch someone else’s life, sometime, somewhere in some way that might, just might, matter.

So why worry about the rest?

Jealousy will always be part of life and part of writing too I suppose. There will always be someone who has something I don’t or who has accomplished something I haven’t. There will always be someone better/smarter/prettier/funnier/more articulate. So why am I worrying about them?

I’ve never claimed to think that I could be the best, so why worry about ranking accomplishments?

I want to write and if I sit back and let this envy swirl in my mind and push my stories out, if I get so angry I want to scream so loud I can’t hear my characters speak to me, I just might not ever be able to reach that one person who might need to read what I have to say.

So, now’s the time to stop. Now’s the time to say my own writer’s serenity prayer:


May I have the serenity to accept others’ successes and breathe deeply and count to ten when I can’t, the

courage to stay off their websites and remember what I see is only half of the story, and the

wisdom to keep my butt in my chair and fingers flying across the keyboard.


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  • RYCJ Revising

    ...gosh, it's at times like this, if only we could see the grass on the other side. Wonderful Writing, btw!