Tuesday, July 27, 2010



I am Tina.

Every single day in Seekerville I'm surrounded by 14 talented writers. Of course it can be easy to loose my identity, or let professional jealousy make me miserable.

Here's a few things I've learned about success.

1. Embrace the uniqueness of you. If you don't appreciate who you are, and what you offer before you sell, you won't be able to after you sell.

2. Never measure your success using another person's yardstick. You'll come up short every single time.

3. There's nothing wrong with professional envy. "Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle

4. Appreciate God's timing in your life. We can't see the big picture in our lives, so why not just enjoy the ride?

5. Overnight success rarely is. Lasting success is achieved by hard work. You can't see behind the curtain so don't presume to know another person's journey.

6. "Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.” Erica Jong. Don't get bogged down in professional jealousy it only hurts you.

Courtesy http://diy.despair.com/

And if you have time, stop by Jenny Crusie's site and take her quiz- Green is Not Your Color: Professional Jealousy and the Professional Writer.

Today I'm giving away a copy of Ruth Logan Herne's Waiting Out the Storm to one Seekerville commenter. Winner announced in the weekend edition.


  1. Oh, Tina, you do not know how much I needed this. Not that I'm jealous, I just get down on myself that I'm taking longer than what I think I should, especially during rewrites and revisions. I feel like I'm my own worst enemy, but I want to make sure I get all the little details right, you know? Like yesterday, I spent most of the day researching rattlesnakes for a scene. Then I beat myself over the head thinking I should have been writing not researching.

    Thank you for the encouragement. God's timing is absolutely perfect, and He made me unique!

    reneelynnscott at gmail dot com

  2. Thank you for sharing this great advice! :) It's hard not to be jealous, but it's so true that God's timing is perfect and He is with us every step of the journey. Only He knows what each of us have been through and only He will walk with us every step of the way.

    God bless, and thank you again for the encouragement!



    P.S. Anybody care for some fruit? Grapes, apples, fruit-flavored candy... ;) Dig in!

  3. Thanks for the reminder that my timeline is mine along, ordained by God.

    valerie at valeriecomer dot com

  4. Thanks for this, Tina. I needed to hear it, too. And it's applicable not just for writers, but for wanna-be moms, for ministers, for new business owners, for dieters and bodybuilders. Heck, who doesn't jealousy try to sink its teeth into?
    Thanks again!

  5. Tina:

    You have said much
    I must think upon.

    To define oneself
    by who
    one is not:
    Tis’ a wonder.

    To thy own self
    be true:
    Tis’ best to do.

    Tis’ just a deceiver.
    For hidden is the cross
    each must bear.

    Better the Devil
    We know.

    Was that what you meant?


  6. Tina - the first photo is just the BEST!!! And you are the sneak up on you kinda wit. Cerebral-like! :)

    Oh Vinnnnccceeee... ha!

    Some outstanding quotes but like others, it's the God's timing thing that is the resonating one. Maybe it's because of the 5th decade, but the jealousy thing isn't an issue for me at this point (perhaps tomorrow)...

    I have trusted God's timing and He comes through EVERY time. How is it I must continue to learn to trust though? I KNOW it, but I fergit.

    Y'all have a great day. And any day in Seekerville is a wonderful one!

    may at maythek9spy dotcom

    I have some Twining's 4 berry black tea ready if anyone is up for some. Milk and sugar right here... :)

  7. Hi Tina,

    I'm glad that you are you, as I enjoy the creativity that is uniquely yours and enables you to write blogs like today's. LOL--I could be jealous of our creativity, but instead I'll read your 6 points again and take them to heart!

    Happy writing

    Ruth Ann Dell


  8. Thanks Tina, I really like the reminder to enjoy the ride.

    I hear so much about how, if you want to succeed, you have to put your writing above 'most' everything else. Goals are great, but I've learned not to beat myself up when I can't meet them without putting my family aside.

    I'm pretty sure the Seekers came together 'not by accident' because you each bring something different and special to the group.
    Over at Inkwell Inspirations, we kind of think of you as big sisters because of how you've inspired us. What a blessing to be part of a group blog and support each other.

    Vive la difference!

  9. Tina, Thanks so much for this advice. I needed to hear the "Don't measure yourself by another person's yardstick." Sometimes I get bogged down in the thought I can never write like ______, and forget that God doesn't want me to write like them. I'm supposed to use the voice He gave me.

  10. Tina,

    Thanks for a great post. I needed this today. I'm not jealous of other people and their success; but I do wish I had started earlier in life as many writers did.


  11. But Edwina we were too busy living life to write it back then.

    Now that we are rich with experiences we are ready to write them down.

  12. Vince, if I can make you think then my work here is done.

  13. Seriously folks do you know what it is like to have 14 smart, sweet, cute, prolific writing sisters???

    We have a private loop where we chat.

    You can embrace who you are or be eaten up with what you are not.

    I am me and proud of it!!!

  14. Lots of great things to ruminate on, especially during those times it seems the writing career I've dreamed of is still far away. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Don't enter me in the drawing. I already have Ruthy's book thought I've yet to be able to start reading.

  15. Poignant post, Tina.
    Thanks for sharing - and what a great picture of the Seekers :-)

    And the quote about learning from those who have succeeded...yep, that's what happens for me right here on Seekerville. So thankful for this blog!!

    God's timing?!? Whew...I've lived through lots of moments (and consequences) of Pepper's timing, and I would MUCH rather stick with God's.

  16. Thanks, Tina. We ALL need this chat at some point or another, and I'm sure I need it more often than most! My mantra lately has been "You can only do as much as you can do. God doesn't expect any more than that."

    KC--I thought the same thing about the first picture! It's perfect.

  17. Thank you, Tina.
    I so needed to hear this today.
    Especially nos. 1 - 6. Especially those. All of them.
    This blog has been such a blessing to me. It's changed my path, taught me so much, tripped me up & splashed cold water on my face more than once.
    Thanks to all of ya'll for being here.

  18. You are you, Seeker buds. And I am proud to know you.

  19. Tina, you are so right about it being easy to get lost in identity if you don't know who you are first.

    It would be easy to be envious of my fellow Seekervillians - so much talent and success surrounding me - but I am who God made me to be and I can't be anyone else.

    I'm okay with that.

    God blessed me with 14 prolific, creative, loving sisters. I"m not about to whine or argue with that!

    And all the friends we're surrounded by here in Seekerville!

    Yes, I'm truly blessed!

    Thanks for the reminder, T!

  20. This is great, Tina. Such simple, basic things to remember, right? And yet we forget most of them most of the time!

    Point 1 -- the appreciating your uniqueness. I've always been just a tad different from everyone else no matter what group I'm hanging with and I've spent quite a bit of that time wishing I was more like _____. Then one day I realized that I really liked spending time with me! I didn't get bored. I had tons of interests. I could always count on great books to keep me company. I didn't need to be around people who thought I was 'weird'. So I stopped. And suddenly I found myself with people who just let me be me. Not as many as before, mind you...but hey, we have way more fun and I'm not worrying about saying the right thing at the right time. And more importantly -- they're supporters.

  21. Beautiful wisdom, Tina! To embrace who God made us and where we are on the journey he's put us on. I know I'm at the point where I am in my writing for a reason--and I want to learn from it all that God wants me to learn from it. Cooperate with him and grow according to his customized plan for ME! (But is it okay that I still hope I'll one day learn to write as fast as Mary & Ruthy?)

  22. I'm constantly comparing myself to others, and not just professionally. It stiffles God's creativity in ME.

    I'm learning to put that aside and let God show me who I am.

    I've been struggling with working so much, going home and working more, then going to church, and working MORE!!!

    However, I just read Rachelle Gardener's blog, and it was about the silence...

    Now I'm looking forward to the daily tasks of cleaning my house, studying for VBS, lunch break, etc. for quiet, LISTENING time spent with God.

    This helps me focus on what He'd have for me, not with the things in which He's blessed others.

    A series of great posts I've read this morning.

    Thanks, Tina.

  23. Thank you so much. This was so much what I needed to hear as someone that struggles with insecurity.

    Reminds me of a recent quote I read by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "The worst thing that can happen to a person is to succeed before they are ready." Thank heavens God protects us sometimes from what we think of as "success."

    I need to grocery shop, I can offer a bowl of Raisin Bran, lol.


  24. Needed this, Tina. Especially right now. Thank you.


  25. Makes me feel better knowing everybody else here feels the same way. And it makes me wonder about how those I'm jealous of really feel about themselves. They probably struggle with the same insecurities and self-doubts, just to different degrees.
    I'm just glad God knows what He's doing (in everything and everywhere) so I don't have to worry about it...even though I still do. But He knows that too!

  26. Kav (8:25 comment)


    me too!!!!

    isn't it freeing - just to let God work that out in your life, and let the friends who stick... stick?

    Along with some Belgian chocolate and a cuddle from my favorite boyfriend (who's my husband as well). ;D

  27. Good article Tina.
    I didn't think I was jealous until I followed the link to Jenny's article. Maybe I would be just a little jealous if one or both of my critique partners published before me. But I would also be happy for them.
    For me, though, I wouldn't be upset that they succeeded; I would worry they may not need me anymore. Does that make sense?
    I don't think I'm a jealous person, be I've never been put to the test.


    bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

  28. I just hate jealousy. When someone is jealous of me, it feels soooooo rotten. And when I'm jealous of someone else, it feels sooooo rotten. So I try to avoid it!!!

    When I start to feel jealous I just have to focus on God and remember all that he's done for me and how much it must hurt him to have me feeling jealous of someone else. You can't love someone and be jealous of them at the same time. So I choose love.

    Jealousy stinks! I hate it THIS MUCH!

  29. Great post. Thanks for sharing. God's timing. God's plan. I keep telling myself and anyone I meet that.

    Thanks again. Have a great day.

  30. Hi Tina,

    I love the line about not measuring yourself by someone elses yardstick. If you write short stories you can not compare your writing style/life/success to an author on the best seller list because you aren't even writing the same thing....yet....I know writer's who do this! It's self defeating...

    Great reminders that can be applied to writing and life in general!

  31. You know, Tina, every now and then someone comes along in my life who grabs just a little bit more of my heart than most people, like a tiny electrical connection that makes my smile a little bit brighter when they are in the room. I gotta tell you, my friend, that you are one of those people, and I am SO glad you are who you are!

    Jealousy sucks pond water, and I should know because I've wallowed in my fair share of pond scum where everything in my life was tinged green. NOT PRETTY!

    LOVE the Erica Jong quote!!!

    "Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.”

    Oh, amen to that!! I can't tell you how many times I've talked to authors I've envied, thinking they had the world by the tale (pun intended), only to find out that their insecurities and fears were as demoralizing as my own. And I know from my own personal experience that the "highs" I've experienced in my publishing career, although great at the time, not only set me up for the inevitable fall when things were not so great ... BUT they took my eyes off of God and put them on me -- SOOOO NOT GOOD!!

    So thank you for this timely reminder, especially No. 4:

    Appreciate God's timing in your life. We can't see the big picture in our lives, so why not just enjoy the ride?

    Lately, God's been working on me to "enjoy the ride," but I have to admit -- I am one annoying back-seat driver ...


  32. Thanks for the reminder to be content with who we are and whatever God has for us to do, no matter the pace or the outcome. So often we want to rush when God wants us to spend time being still - selah.

    I need to remember to keep my nose in my own affairs and stop looking around to see where I am compared to where everyone else is, or even where I wish/think I could be.


  33. KAV! You won a prize in Seekerville and I cannot find your email addy. Email me at the contact address for seekerville

    seekers at seekerville dot net

  34. Julie a back seat driver??? Who'd have thought. LOL.

    It's hard to let go and let God when you are a control freak. Spoken as one CF to another.

  35. That's why I like Seekerville. We are real.

    We address the good, the bad and the ugly.

    And you know I just realized I never even brought out the plate of fruit and fresh donuts. I am lost without Helen!!!!! Forgive me.

  36. KC:

    "isn't it freeing - just to let God work that out in your life, and let the friends who stick... stick?

    Along with some Belgian chocolate and a cuddle from my favorite boyfriend (who's my husband as well). ;D"

    Freeing is the perfect word...and chocolate of any kind can soothe all ills. Alas, I have no boyfriend or husband to cuddle, but I do have a very handsome dog who has very sympathetic eyes and excels at cuddling...so I'm good for that too.

  37. Tina:

    Helen here with the coffee pot. I know I'm late. I read this last night before there were any comments, but I couldn't think what to say. My brain has been dead for a couple of weeks now.

    I took that quiz. Didn't do bad. Didn't do great. But found some real good thoughts.

    I'm not jealous of my partners 'making it' because I'm pretty much alone out here in my Ozark cabin. That's why you cyber friends are so important to me. I look at those of you who get published as an encouragement--proof that it CAN happen.

    Loved your list of things you have learned.

    I'm living proof that success doesn't happen overnight. I feel like I've been at this longer than anybody alive. Can't understand why I can't give it up.


  38. Thanks for the great post! I needed to hear this.


  39. Hi Tina:

    Work may be done
    but the clock
    still runs.

    Ogden Nash
    might he ask:

    If you were jealous
    would you tell us?


    To be jealous of talent
    is to criticize God.
    Far Better to rejoice
    And praise His choice.

    Picture This:

    A chorus line --
    many arranged to appear as one
    where standing out
    is just not done.



    “A secret loop”
    Now that’s a scoop!
    Are any Seekers

    : ) Vince

  40. Ah, Tina, what a great post!

    Jealousy, envy, discontent...so sneaky and so sapping of creative energy.

  41. Tina, I really needed that, thank you!

  42. Great post, Tina. I'm ashamed to say that I dealt with jealousy early in this writing journey I'm on. It made me feel ugly inside and didn't do one thing to make me a better writer.

    Another problem I had a few years back was shame--I didn't want to show my face at any conference because all the girls I started out with were all multi-published authors and I hadn't even finished my second book.

    I'm so glad God has patience with me. Over the years, I've learned(and still am in many ways) that God has a special time set aside of His plan to come to fruitation in me(and for all of us.) If it comes too early, we would not appreciate it or be ready for it; If it comes too late, we get discouraged and question God's plans for our lives.

    For this moment, I know that all I can do is put my backside in a chair and write. Edit. Study the craft. Send out manuscripts. And leave the rest up to His timing.


  43. Thank you, Tina, for this needed post. I love the pic of the Seeker sisters, too.

  44. Do you all like the photo of us when we were part of the Rockettes?
    That's Mary on the end.

  45. The first time I called a certain woman (the one who became my wife) out on a date, her mother answered the phone and asked if I was some other guy.

    I apparently had a grumpy answer. (Not the smoothest thing I've ever done.)

    However, my wife is with me and not him. :-) (Obvious, else I wouldn't be referring to her as my wife right now, but the point is made.)

    As I already have a copy of Ruthy's wonderful, stupendous, thought-provoking book, someone else can win.

  46. Not that I'm not totally jealous of Ruthy... :-)

  47. Kav
    that'll do too!! 4 legged friends are MAHvelous!!!
    Check out May's website. :)She'll send friendly sniffs to your cuddly bud!!!
    One day when I get my act together, there'll be a place for cuddly buds to post their photos too.
    One day...
    I'm soooo far behind...

  48. I would love to read Ruth's book; have not read any of her books. I really enjoy her comments on different blogs. Please enter me.

  49. So, take note folks. When Walt is grumpy he is jealous.

  50. Tina, I think Julie said it perfectly. And I'm very glad you're you!

  51. Wonderful blog post! I read Jennifer C's post. Jealousy isn't very pretty so we don't want to admit to it. But it's sometimes there, but it's under our control. A good reminder.

  52. I really can agree with #2. Many years ago I had a boss who noticed how I always felt a little 'less' then others in the department. She had a 'little' talk with me and shared how I was unique. That while others may do the same job, only I can do it my way. She put it quite eloquently and it has stuck with me for over 20 years. Especially when she told me that I should never compare myself to someone else as I would always feel like I didn't measure up.

    Hope everyone has a blessed week.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  53. Great post Tina, And I am jealous. I wish I could do all the electronic things you know how to do. sigh. Just means I have to get busy and LEARN THEM. LOL

    And remember them after I learn them.

  54. Amber brought fruit????


    Oh my stars, I go away for a day and you guys start getting totally whacked out nutso on me.

    Amber, Amber, Amber.....

    And then TINA THANKS YOU....

    Oh my goodness gracious, then I finally find FOOD like way down at the bottom....

    I hate not having Internet.

    Hi. My name is Ruthy and I'm an Internet Junkie.

    So, this was WONDERFUL, my dear friend. And so perfectly timed.

    There's always another neighbor, another mother, another father, another sister, another computer whiz, another writer, another philosopher...(And HE KNOWS WHO HE IS...) that emulates greatness.

    But I love the idea that it's OUR perceptions that make it seem so great. And I think when we play with our characters that way, to show that their perceptions are flawed because of their insecurities, we get to the heart of them.

    And I brought a HUGE bag of Ghirardelli chocolates for everyone because there's a huge store in Downtown Disney and Katy MacNeill of Harlequin in Toronto told me I'D LOVE IT!!

    And I did.

    Ice cream shop on one side. Chocolate store on the other.

    Ah, bliss. I brought plenty to share and Tina:

    Be blessed.

  55. Tina: You're welcome! :) Thank you again for the inspiring words!

    Ruth: I ALSO mentioned fruit-flavored CANDY, in case you missed that. But I'll try to remember to bring unhealthy food for tomorrow--just for you! ;)


  56. Thank you for the reminders. I need to keep my writing life, and life in general, in perspective--but it's hard to sometimes when you hear how many are getting their manuscripts published for the first time or placing in writing contests. We each have our own God given journey and purpose on this earth, and I need to remember that. Thanks.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  57. Hey,

    Check it out, I'm Tina too. And while I'm unique. I wonder if anyone gets me.

    I've been envious at times. I admit it.
    I must admit, I haven't been enjoying the ride as I should. Infact, I've been a wee bit discouraged as of late. So the encouragement was wonderful.

    Thanks so much.


  58. Tina, this is one of those times that the Feedblitz blog prods me not to give up. I've had a particularly low couple of weeks. Henri Nouwen's wonderful treatise -HOME TONIGHT - is seeing me through, but your reminder of our Creator's unique specs in making ME (and each of you) perked me up this morning. Thanks from muggy Iowa. I would love a new book!

    Gail Kittleson


  59. Being Jealous can destroy your life and others or it can make you a better person. It is how you use this word in your life. Being a little jealous can keep you moving ahead and striving for the goal you have set for yourself. To much can destroy you. Being unique is what you should strive for and not being someone else.
    Thanks for this wonderful post and for the incouragement to be your best and not let bad feelings control your life.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  60. Lifting up all you sweet ladies who shared yourselves so honestly.

  61. Love this.

    No need to include me in the drawing. Already enjoyed Ruthie's book.