I am off to buy a green t-shirt today.
This is not because I am involved with the Tour de France, or am a member of the Sherwood Forest Appreciation Society or am given to hiding myself behind hedges.
It is because I have devised a strategy for dealing with that unspoken Writers Problem. Raging Jealousy!
I was with a group of writers recently and suddenly heard one of the mildest, sweetest people ever admit that she had occasional twinges of jealousy. She? She occasionally felt jealous too? Someone like that? Then I was not alone!
Dear Reader, I broke out into a loud rant about things that make me feel bitter and twisted and angry and jealous and cross with myself, and there are plenty.
For example, I get angry about the writer who suddenly turns out to be related, involved or working for someone Famous, Rich and Influential.
I get angry about supposed “children’s authors” who don’t write their “bookwords” nor even read their books - probably because they are already Famous, Rich and Influential.
I get angry about the rise of the non-existent “children’s author”, the brand names emblazoned across a host of gender-biased series, even though I know there are many real writers happy to be paid for this quiet anonymous work.
It is the lie behind the branding that makes me uncomfortable: “Now, children, who is your favourite author?” Does that “author” even exist?
Please note that I do not rant or get angry about the good writers, the people who write so well that I am in awe of them. I never feel jealous of them or the praise they receive.I feel inspired and encouraged by their words, no matter for what genre or “age.”
It is the unfair, unjustified fame that fills me with jealousy and turns me crabbit and cross at my desk. I have at last, before it shrinks me down into a wizened hob-goblin,worked out how to deal with this rage. Remember that green t-shirt?
I have resolved that, every so often, I will put on my significant green garment and give myself permission to rant and rage and let all the angry stuff out of my soul. I will howl at the moon, away from you all, in private, alone.
Then when the raging is done, I shall hide my jealous green t-shirt in safe secure place and be calmness and sweetness and light and probably write about fluffy kittens too.
Do you ever get the raging jealousies too?
A BOY CALLED M.O.U.S.E, now out in paperback.
Shortlisted for the Historical Association's Young Quills Award.