Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but let’s face it: we’ve all felt it.
It’s a perfectly natural emotion, which has only been intensified by modern society’s addiction to the internet. We spend our lives browsing through other people’s highlight reels – their beautiful holiday snaps and gushy enagagement announcements – and it makes us feel insecure about our own lives.
And for us bloggers, who spend a lot of our time online, this emotion can be multiplied tenfold: perhaps you just read another blogger’s post that was so good you wish you could have written it, or they have a drool-worthy theme and beautiful photography. Maybe they got that product or ARC you were turned down for, and have way more followers than you, even though they haven’t been blogging as long… As much as the blogging world is a community, and generally very supportive, I think we’ve all fallen victim to the dreaded blogger envy at one point or another.
So here’s a few ways to deal with blogger envy when it strikes:
- Look back at your best posts.
I don’t know about you, but often once I write a post and put it out into the world, I never really read it again. I’ll answer comments and promote it, but I don’t often take the time to look back on my old posts, and appreciate them.
Recently, however, I did just that, and whilst I naturally began to feel critical of myself, I also found myself feeling oddly proud. I wrote those posts, and put them out there. That in itself is a huge act of bravery, and I think sometimes we need to give ourselves the credit we deserve just for putting ourselves out there and becoming part of the blogging community.
I also think we need to appreciate our own strengths and our own voice, even if it’s different from someone else’s. For example, after reading other blogs I’ve found myself wanting to be a more poetic writer – the kind of writer whose words seem to flow off the page – but at the end of the day, that just isn’t me. Instead I’ve been trying to appreciate my own writing voice and all its’ individual quirks.
- Read some of your comments and appreciate that someone took the time to respond and reach out to you.
In my time blogging I’ve met some wonderful people, and I have many regular commenters, who always leave such thoughtful, interesting comments. I’ve also had people comment for the first time and say how much they enjoyed my post, and that always feels good!
Therefore, when I’m feeling down about my blog, or find myself negatively comparing it with someone else’s, I find it helpful to go back and read a few of these. I think it’s important to remember that every single comment you receive – even if it doesn’t seem like many compared to someone else – is time someone else took out of their day to interact with you, and that’s amazing!
You could even take the plunge and head over to that blog which always has you feeling envious and leave one of those kind, appreciative messages on one of their posts!
- Use envy to improve.
If you find yourself regularly feeling jealous of someone else’s theme, or photography, or their writing style, then perhaps it is a sign that that’s an area you could improve on. If you find yourself wishing you could be much better at something, then why not use that as motivation to work hard and get better?
I love the idea of using a negative emotion like envy to do something good!
- Focus on your own blog, and appreciate your own individual success.
The root of blogger envy is obviously comparing your own blog to someone else’s…so why not just stop doing that?
I know I’m maybe simplifying it here, and it isn’t that easy when part of blogging is visiting other people’s blogs and commenting etc., but the only person you can really compare yourself with is yourself. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes success, and looking back at how far you’ve come, as opposed to where you are compared to someone else is much healthier.
Maybe someone else who’s been blogging for the same amount of time as you has double the followers, but you have more followers than you did when you began. And that’s a success as far as I’m concerned, and we should try and focus on that!
- Remember that you don’t know everything that goes on behind-the-scenes.
I think it’s also important to remember when you’re comparing yourself to someone else, that you don’t have all the information. Maybe someone else seems to have more success then you, but they have more time to devote to blogging. And maybe there’s a practical reason why someone else got that ARC or product instead of you (eg your location).
You just don’t know everything that goes on behind-the-scenes, so you can’t properly compare.
- Feel the envy, and then reject it.
And finally: feel the envy, accept it for what it is – a perfectly natural emotion – and then move past it. You can’t control feelings of jealousy, but you can control how you react, so by making a conscious effort to be a positive force within the blogging community, you’re not letting those feelings win out.
So many people respond to feeling jealousy by criticising the cause of their envy, and whilst it’s understandable, it’s not nice, and it’s not constructive.
So do you ever suffer from blogger envy? How do you deal with it?