I envy talented writers. Talent in anything -- from dancing to singing to sports to writing to math -- cannot be learned, or taught, but is innate as a singer's voice, or a mathematician's knack for numerical visualization.
Either you got it, or you don't got it.
This weekend I saw a fellow writer, who I will not point out other than to say he is not associated with me on the blogosphere, received a special recognition. It wasn't much, but it reminded me of him, and I re-read one of his pieces and looked him up online and wow... he's not a commercial success (and really, what is commercial success anyway?), but he is wildly talented, and is enjoying some small fruits of that talent.
It's amazing how his mind twists the words into a mangled mess that somehow makes sense. It's like watching a crunk dancer perform ballet, and somehow it ~works~.
I read his stuff and think: I'll never write anything like that. I can't. It's not doable. Not that I even want to try, but still, try as I might, I couldn't write like that.
And I envy him for that talent. I get a little bit jealous that he's out there at all, that there are writers with that amount of talent seeking representation from the same agents, the same publishers, going after the same readers and hanging out in the same bookshops. I get a little bit scared that I have to compete with this guy.
I envy his recognition and want my share of it. I feel stingy and childish for that emotion, but there it is, plain and inexplicable and embarrassing as the nipples on my chest. I don't wish him ill, and I believe his recognition is reasonable and well-garnered, but still...
I know I'm not the only one who suffers from this. You don't have to point them out, or acknowledge them, but don't you have authors you're jealous of, that you envy? I don't mean Stephen King or JK Rawlings, I'm talking about your fellow inmates in pre-pub and small-pub lockup, the ones in the trenches with you right now, today.
I mean, don't you ever read something in a blogfest or on a post and think, Wow, I sure don't want to go head-to-head with that author!