As I’ve said before, the only TV show I really watch is Family Guy. I watched the latest episode last night and it struck a chord with me because I’m a writer. In a nutshell (without giving away spoilers) here’s the plot: Brian writes a play and everyone in Quahog loves it. Stewie writes a play the next day, and Brian is incredibly jealous because Stewie’s play has the potential to be the next American classic.
First of all, I cannot stand Brian. He’s my least favorite character on Family Guy because he is a self-righteous jerk. This episode shows him at his worst: when he acts like a super pretentious writerly type, wearing a jacket with elbow patches and drinking like he’s Hemingway.
Most writers I know in real life aren’t like this. We don’t act all pretentious and get jealous of other writers’ successes. We are genuinely happy for them when they sign with an agent, get their book published, and sell many copies. Writers I’ve met online are some of the most supportive people I’ve ever “met” and they’re the first to pick you up when you don’t feel that great about the way your writing’s going.
But we’re all human. I’m sure we do get jealous at times when it seems like our writing is getting rejected all over the place and everyone else’s writing is getting published. But we overcome that. We look past it and genuinely feel happy for the other person.
My question for you… have you ever been jealous of another writer’s success?