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TheFreakyFantasy's avatar

Help me! I need help with feelings of anger and envy. Any advice?

Asked by TheFreakyFantasy (11points) November 10th, 2017

Hi there. I’m going to be as concise as I can.

Ok, basically, a few years ago, I met my best friend and we kicked it off by our love of books and reading. I’ve been an ambitious writer since I was a child, and I told her that I’d had a few novels written. She seemed to like the idea, so she began writing novels too, which was great.

A year later, we always talked and chatted about our characters and our dreams of being published. I had told her that I had a fanbase on a self-publishing site, and she kind of shrugged at the idea. I sensed some envy off her. However, I NEVER rubbed it in her face. I never rub my own hobbies in anyone’s face. I tried talking to other people about my book – my other friends – and no one ever seemed to care about my passion. They did ask to read a few chapters, and I gave them copies, and when I asked what they thought, they claimed they didn’t remember much but thought it was ‘good’. Any other day, though, they kind of looked away in boredom when I spoke of it and waited until I shut my mouth before they got a chance to change the subject. From then on, and over the years since, I have NEVER spoke about my novel properly to anyone, because no cares. And I learned my lesson.

My friend, on the other hand, recently wrote a new novel. She doesn’t shut up about it. Honestly, I do become so irritated with her because it’s all we talk about, and my work is left out; work that I’ve spent years crafting and perfecting. However, as a fellow writer, I listen and offer advice and chat about it, knowing the excitement of writing a new book. But, this is where it gets annoying and causes me to sulk. She met some new friends (which happen to belong to my friend group as well) and she has introduced them to her new novel.

They go crazy over it. I don’t know why. It’s the same genre as mine, and I don’t want to sound cocky, or mean, or overzealous, but I know I’m a more skilled writer than her, as I’ve been in the field longer and have seen some of her work, which does need improvement in certain areas. But, every time her and I enter a room, all eyes turn to her and they actually screech her name in zeal! They ask her about the book, when they can read the next chapter, what’s happening and such. But me? I’m completely invisible. In fact, sometimes I just left the room completely because no one bothered to say ‘hello’ to me. I didn’t mind at first, and was happy for her, but her ‘readers’ are just besotted with her. I know for a fact that they actually do not like me or what I do, for some reason. One of her ‘readers’ named a dog after one of her characters, and another nearly cried over a death scene in the book.

I just feel worthless, and that I should give up on my writing if a novice writer is receiving the attention I, as a hopefully future author, craves. Am I doing something wrong? I’m very aware that I’m not popular at my school. I have a reputation for being ‘weird’ and ‘cold’ and ‘freaky’, but I don’t bully or hurt anyone.

I feel like I can’t control my anger any longer at this. Maybe I’m being egotistical, I don’t know. I would just love someone to care about something that’s a huge part of my life. I’d really appreciate some advice and how to overcome such a childish thing. It’s good to get this off my chest.

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10 Answers

LornaLove's avatar

I haven’t read either book, of course, but I will say that who we are draws in that which is what we are.
If she is more outgoing and expressive she possibly draws more expressive outgoing people to her, hence the squeals of delight and tears, which sounds very expressive in my opinion. That does not reflect on your book. Perhaps your book is more thoughtful whereas hers more dramatic and so on. (I am not a writer but I do think peoples styles come through in their writing?).

She seems to know her reader and her audience. Do you know your reader and your audience? Perhaps your readers are far away from you and cannot give you an audience?

There are forums and other places writers of novels hang out I am sure? We only feel really appreciated and cared about when we hang with our pack. Perhaps it is time to find your pack.

At the end of the day a book is only as good as its sales, that is if you are writing for money.

MrLove's avatar

Perhaps it is a case of them being more concerned with her and trying to be friendly towards her rather than what she is writing. From what you described when you enter a room and that they are besotted with her may point in that direction. It may not have much at all to do with her novel.

With your own anger, spend a bit of time thinking about why exactly you are angry. Don’t just go for the very first feeling as the real reason can lie deeper than that. Are you angry at her? Do you feel as if there is some injustice in it all? I’m sure you can come up with a long list of questions that you can ask yourself.

Also, you say that you are not popular at your school, but perhaps you have just been aiming at the wrong friends? If you actually aren’t popular, then it is highly unlikely that everybody at your school will feel the same way about you. Spend some time finding other people with the same interests even if it is just one or two people as it can make a real difference.

By doing so, the anger you feel about this situation will diminish and it will lose its power. Your new friends will be more likely to appreciate your novel and general positive feedback about you as a whole will also be beneficial to you and all of this will feel like a distant memory.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Sometimes writers write to please themselves, sometimes to please others.
If you wrote your novel to make yourself happy, then don’t expect others it like you do.
I have gone that route, writing poems and short stories which met some emotional need for me. Some people would like one or two, others, none. Once in a while someone would read something which excited them.
It felt depressing sometimes.
I started experimenting. I decided to try to write something which was the furthest I could get from my true feelings, just to see if I could.
I was happy, my relationship was in good shape, I decided to write about a deep depression.
Everyone I showed it to loved it.
Not only do people have different feelings about what they want to read, but moods change, so what somebody has no interest in right now, could seem deep, and enchanting at another time.
There are books which should be read only on a day when it is cold out, and raining, or snowing. Those are the books which need full attention, so the flavors can be savored, and absorbed.
So, you have worked years to develope your writing. Good. Now, spend some time experimenting. Go new directions. Think with somebody else’s mood.
Good luck.

seawulf575's avatar

First off, welcome to Fluther. Next, I think your question confirms you are a writer;-) It is full of detail and paints a full picture. But honestly, writing is a difficult profession. It relies entirely on the reception of the audience and the politics around promoting it. At this time, it sounds like your friend has tapped those barriers. If she is truly a friend, you need to celebrate her successes with her. Because she suddenly found fame does not change your relationship with her, unless it was not what you thought.
As for your feelings…you are a writer. As I mentioned, that is a difficult profession. I would suggest that if you feel like writing is your life, you do that and throw yourself into it. I believe there is great joy as well as potentially pain in following our hearts. Both are helpful to a writer, I believe. But here’s a thought…why don’t you share your angst with your friend? Ask her opinion of your writings. Ask her how she broke through the barrier of getting published and accepted? It sounds like you two are traveling the same path in life. It is always helpful to learn from others.

Zaku's avatar

(Sounds like potential material for a fictional situation.)

I’d say you’re (understandably, but) overly attached to your friend’s fans behavior. Everyone has different tastes. Your friend having found some crazed fans who don’t like or notice you doesn’t really say much about you. The world is full of readers, some of whom will appreciate your writing too once they’ve found it – unfortunately it sometimes takes decades or a lifetime before work gets properly appreciated. But especially if you keep it to yourself and wait for people to ask you about it.

rojo's avatar

Life contains suffering.
We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectations.
Suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained lf we give up useless expectations and learn to live each day at a time not dwelling in the past or the imagined future.

Give it a go.

rojo's avatar

Life is suffering.
We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectations.
Suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained lf we give up useless expectations and learn to live each day at a time not dwelling in the past or the imagined future.

Give it a go.

flutherother's avatar

You could put your feelings of anger and envy to good use and create a short story based on this situation.

marinelife's avatar

Change your friends. I would drop this bestie. If she notices and asks you about it, tell her. I just got tired of talking about your novel and you never asking about my work.

janbb's avatar

You’re hanging out with the “wrong” friends. Find a smaller group of more quirky kids, or even an online writer’s group, that you can share your work with and distance yourself from the fanzine crowd.

I was close friends with a guy in a favorite local band and felt very special until he switched his allegiance to another friend of mine who is prettier and more vivacious. It hurt too much to be around them so I have stopped going to the gigs for now and am trying to fill my social life with other things. I’ll go back to the band at some point but not with the same attachment or sensitivity.

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