Silencing the Quacking of Creative Jealousy

This morning the ducks were really quacking. For some reason when they fly, they never shut up. I’m sure there are lots of scientific reasons for their vocalization, but to me it reminds me of one thing. Creative Jealousy.

You know that ugly feeling of resentment? To me, that is the sound of a quacking duck. When I looked up songs about jealousy, I found tons about romantic envy, but I couldn’t find any about the artistic kind, though I know this type runs rampant.

jealousy broken in half

I remember when I was starting out in my creative pursuits I used to get quite jealous of others who I thought were doing better than me. I once took a class on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and we would have show and tell at the beginning of class.

Once, I was so envious of someone’s painting at the beginning of class, despite the fact that I don’t even paint. Being jealous of her was like being jealous of oranges when I was made to be apple.

But jealousy isn’t logical. It works on scarcity. Jealousy believes that when someone else succeeds, we must fail. But that is not true. To combat jealousy, we must remember that there is enough good for us all.

But jealousy isn't logical. It works on scarcity. Jealousy believes that when someone else succeeds, we must fail. To combat jealousy, we must remember that there is enough good for us all. Click To Tweet

In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron talks about jealousy as a map. Each of our maps differs and we are often surprised by what makes resentment rise up in us. When we see someone else achieving something jealousy exposes our fear that we will not get what we want.

The antidote to jealousy is action. Instead of envy, we must believe that there is enough room for multiple successes in the world and take action toward what it is we want.

Cameron suggests listing out the people you are jealous of, why, and what you can do to take action. For example:

WhoWhat Are You Jealous Of?Action
My Friend JoanShe has a dedicated writing studio space above the garageFix corner of den into writing nook
Lady at
Published her book Begin revising novel

Taking small actions will breed hope, which will turn the negativity of jealousy into a more positive force. It’s also important to remember that creative success is hard for everyone. Focusing on the action of creating can help reduce the jealousy of comparing yourself to the creative success of others.

Feeling that there is only enough success for a few diminishes the work of all creative people. And isn’t celebrating all of our creativity more beautiful than the sound of ducks quacking overhead?


Add Yours
  1. Cheryl | TimeToCraft

    I am going to take on board Julia Camerons’ idea of identifying why jealous and what action to take, next time the green eyed monster raises it’s head. Very positive approach. #MMBC

    • Catherine Lanser

      Yes, realizing what we can do is definitely a more positive approach than some we could take.

  2. Anne

    I was woken this morning by quacking ducks, from now on I will always think of jealousy. I don’t normally do jealousy, but when it has struck it has taken me by surprise at it’s force. Thankfully there are ways to overcome it. Really interesting post.

    • Catherine Lanser

      Thank you for stopping by. It is a surprise when jealousy hits me too. I don’t like it.

  3. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    What a thought-provoking post and something that could be addressed to blogging as well.

    It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others. Staying true to yourself and what makes you happy is key. There is room for us all! 🙂

    Have a great weekend. #MMBC

    • Catherine Lanser

      Thank you. Yes, blogging can breed jealousy too, but you’re right. It’s about doing it because it makes you happy.

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