I have now joined the ranks of MFA creative writing students, and feel happiness when I hear about my fellow students’ successes: a short story to be published in a literary magazine, a creative non-fiction piece shortlisted for a contest. Then I consider my own current efforts—a novel I’ve been working on for a couple of years, and will be for at least a couple more—and am jealous.
Although I’ve published lots, the books and articles all seem (and some were) written a decade ago. For the heck of it, and to feel a wee bit accomplished, I’ve recently secured myself a new magazine article—but won’t see it in print until spring 2016.
In the meantime, it’s me and my novel. Draft one done. Draft two just getting off the ground. Potential publication—and the chance to toot my own horn—ages away.
I could learn to write short stories. I could focus more on articles. But then I’d be distracting myself from what I truly want to accomplish. I just have to remember that satisfaction will some day come—and use those feelings of jealousy as inspirational fuel.