Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, November 07, 2005


In response to my last post, Cindy asked me about whether writers like Mary Roach send me into a seething, jealous rage. There's no good answer to that. I mean, I could be all high and mighty and answer, honestly, that Mary Roach does not do that to me. But that would be because I know Mary. Well, I've met Mary, and I worked at ABigScienceMagazine when Mary wrote for them, and sometimes I either edited or otherwise contributed to her pieces, so her success mostly just pleases me. Plus, she's one of the funniest writers I've ever encountered, so being jealous of her would be ridiculous, since I am NOT one of the funniest writers I've ever encountered.

But that would imply that I don't get jealous of other writers, that I don't feel competitive. And that would be complete bullshit. The thing is, though, when I get jealous, it's usually more jealousy over someone who's accomplished something I know I could have accomplished. So, when Mary writes a book with a voice I couldn't even begin to approximate, or someone else I know writes a book about something I'm not interested in, I have zero jealousy about it.

The people I get jealous over are the people who write books I know I could--or should--have written. They're also, generally, the people who I've met during my career and didn't care for particularly. (No, I'm not going to name names. Because, damn, you just never know how these people felt about you, and you just never know where the next referral to the next big gig is going to come from. So far, they've all come from people I adore, but I don't think it'd be wise to go around making enemies, do you?) So my jealousy is mostly about muttering darkly how I could have done better, and how I hope their books fail miserably, and how I hope that, at the very least, they're miserable as human beings, even if they are raking in the Big Book Bucks.

But do you know who I really feel a lot of jealousy for these days that has nothing to do with my love of and career in science writing? I'm jealous of bloggers. In particular, I'm jealous of bloggers who get dozens of comments and hundreds of hits per post. I'm REALLY jealous of bloggers who make money off of their blogs. I want to be them. I want to know their secrets.

And here's the thing that has really screwed with my head about this kind of jealousy: These are almost all bloggers I like. I'm not turning green with jealousy over people whose blogs annoy me, or whose blogs infuriate me. I'm turning green with jealousy over people I want to be close personal friends with, people whose blogs are on my bloglines list, people whose blogs I visit regularly. I don't want these people to fail. I don't think I could do better. I don't wish for them to be miserable human beings. I just want to be just like them. I want them to talk about me the way I talk about them.

Apparently, 41 is NOT old enough to stop feeling left out of the cool clique. Who knew?

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