Wednesday, February 7

Envy and admiration work together.

I am so excited for Catherine Lanigan! Her book, Heart's Desire, is the first Harlequin Heartwarming novel to be made into a Hallmark movie. This is so lovely for her, for Harlequin, for the rest of the Heartwarming authors, for Catherine's readers, and for Hallmark. The movie will premier on March 17 at 9:00 PM. What a St. Paddy's day present!

Now, here's the rest of the story. My part. One I thought about a lot this morning while I was beating back some not-pretty feelings. Almost my first emotion, after the initial SQUEE! moment was...ahem...jealousy. I wanted, in the worst way (yes, worst is definitely the right word there), for it to be me. For the book to be my book. For Catherine's trip to Vancouver to be my trip to Vancouver.

That was momentary. Kind of like a thankfully silent tantrum. But even now I have to admit to being envious. Which made me remember back to the early, early days of my career, soon after Jenni Licata spearheaded the formation of NIRA, the RWA chapter that was my writer-friends home for several years. We had a newsletter, and I think the first article I wrote for it had to do with envy. Because when I was new, it seemed as if everyone around me was getting "The Call." And I wasn't.

Later on, everyone else was winning contests or finaling in the Golden Heart or getting awards or being offered real money to talk at different places. And I wasn't.

In recent years, many of my friends have tons of reviews. They have Bookbub ads and bigger, better contracts, and probably make more money than I do. And I...you know.

Some things I envy others for are things I haven't even tried--there's probably something wrong with that, don't you think?

And that's when I realized that I was being--gasp--ridiculous. While envy can mean you want what other people have, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't want them to have it. It doesn't lessen your admiration for them and what they've accomplished. It can set an internal goal for you if you let it, but it doesn't stop you from saying you go, girl and meaning every word of it.

So, congratulations, Catherine. I am so happy for you and proud of you. And I'd still like to have a Hallmark movie of my own. 💖




10 comments:

  1. Oh, man! I think we all feel that way! I don't really think I've ever hoped someone else didn't have something wonderful happen in their writing career, but I have surely wished it was me...too, not instead. I get this--I do! But yes, congratulations to Catherine on the Hallmark movie and may they continue to find great stories to turn into films among the writers we love--including us, baby!!

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    1. Thanks, Nan. I hope you're right! Catherine is such a generous and loving part of the Heartwarming team and we are so very happy for her.

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  2. so exciting! Congratulations, Catherine!

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    1. It is, isn't it? She has worked hard for this!

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  3. Being envious of others’ successes isn’t a bad thing... it means we recognize our own goals in their achievements. Do I want the first violin chair position with the orchestra? Nope, don’t even play. Am I envious of the person who has that honor? Nope, don’t care, more power to them. But that movie deal...yep I’m with you! :-)

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    1. I know it, you know, that the kind of envy I'm talking about is okay, but I wish I didn't have it anyway!

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  4. I hear ya, Liz. I don't think we'd be human if we didn't feel those negative emotions from time to time. It's what you do with those feelings that matter. If you disparaged Catherine on social media, that would be mean and petty. But if you use those feelings to spur you on to reach higher goals, that's something altogether different. I see you using that envy for good, and I know you're genuinely happy for Catherine.

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    1. Thanks, Jana. The truth is, her success is good for all of us. We need to remember that, too.

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  5. Oh, Liz, what a lovely tribute. It is an honor for me to be with all the Heartwarming authors. Like so many, I've had many long, lean years when it seemed that everyone, except for me, was carrying home the brass ring. I, too, felt those twangs of jealousy and envy, and like you, not that I wasn't happy for them because there are so few things in life anymore that ANYONE applauds, it seems, but just that I wanted it--whatever that prize was...for me. I did keep putting one foot in front of the other, though it felt I was trudging through mud and a whole, whole lot of tears. This joy I feel is so wonderful and rare. I cherish every second of it. Already, it is back to work on another project. Back to my job and feeling the joys I have there as well. Everything about our lives is and should be about the joy. That is the lesson I'm learning. Thank you, Liz for this lovely post. You are a doll!

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