Jealous Bitch

I love jealousy.

No, really. I think jealousy is great. Jealousy points you toward the things you want and clarifies your goals. It’s like a big neon sign saying THIS, this right here is what you want. So go get it!

You can waste time hating the author with the six-figure advance and buzzy movie deal, or you can realize that the queasy twist in your stomach has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. Your jealousy means you want what they have, but it doesn’t mean you don’t want them to have it too. In fact, seeing them walking around, living the life you really really want? That’s just proof that your wildest dreams are possible. It happened for them, so it could happen for you.

So I say: don’t try to avoid jealousy. Embrace it. Revel in it. If you meet someone who sparks intense jealousy in you, make friends with them. Congratulate them, and mean that shit. You might learn a few useful things about how they got to where they are, or you might just have the pleasure of getting to know a super cool person who’s accomplishing badass stuff. Either way, you’re better off than you would be sitting in a corner by yourself seething over their success.

Also, it always makes me feel better to remember that no matter where you are in your life or career, someone out there is probably jealous of you. Even if you don’t have a book deal or an agent or any of that—maybe you just finished your first draft of your first-ever manuscript, and getting published feels like an impossible mountain to climb. Well, there are writers out there struggling to get through their first paragraph, and they’d love to be in your shoes (trust me, I used to be one of them).

Jealousy can be a destructive force, if you let it consume you. But if you let it guide you? It might take you exactly where you want to go.

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Layne Fargo

Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.

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