Book Envy by Christine Duncan went to the dentist recently and she asked me how many books I had out. It is a question that is more complicated than it sounds. The simple answer is two published books. But the answer is agonizing. It sends chills into my writer’s heart. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Because by now, shouldn’t I have out as many books as Nora Roberts? Or Stephen King? Or at least as many as that annoying woman at my local writer’s group who manages to drag her latest into every freakin’ conversation?

I have book envy.

I don’t mind admitting it to other writers, especially virtually, because I’m pretty sure you’ll know what I mean. I’m not particularly envious of Robert’s sucess, or King’s for that matter. And there is no way I could be envious of that woman at the writer’s group.

I never expected to make a lot at this or to be famous. But I did expect to be…more prolific. And I expected, having once written and gotten a book published to be more satisfied, more confident, more glad that I wrote what I wrote, the way I wrote it.

I am envious of that confidence that makes a writer (some writers) know that everything they have to say is worth reading.
My internal editor (I call her Millie after my mother) tells me that is so untrue.

Because I am not one of those folks who think that everyone can write. I don’t believe that to be true.

Some people really are done after one book. I mean, tell me what other book Margaret Mitchell wrote after Gone with the Wind.

Yeah, I don’t know either.

But do you think she had book envy? Was she done?


2 responses to “Book Envy by Christine Duncan

  1. I think that Margaret Mitchell would’ve written a few more books had she not passed away at such a young age.

    I find that I have the same problem when I tell people that I write and they ask me what I got out. I’m usually tempted to say I have nothing yet, because even though I self pubbed a couple of books, I’m starting over from scratch with my latest.

  2. I always dread that question ‘what have you published’ because the answer is still no. I think every author feels that the last book they wrote is the last one they will ever write and they will never have an idea again. I know Charlotte Bronte felt that way.

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