If You Weren’t My Friend, I’d Hate You #IWSG

Last Friday, I was showing my best friend the latest developments with my digital painting and a few pictures I’ve taken of Hero Guy. She and I have been hanging out weekly for the past 14 years. She’s seen all the many projects I’ve started (not necessarily finished). Often, she sighs and says, “You’re so talented.” This last Friday, she added, “If you weren’t my friend, I’d hate you.” We shared a laugh. She followed it up with, “I wish I had a thing.”

She composes music, writes her own songs, and teaches piano. She crochets blankets, does needle point, makes paper crafts, and has an awesome eye for home design. She makes friends wherever she goes, and is loved by whoever hires her.

This beautiful, amazing woman was jealous of me??

I realized this applies to writing too. It’s easy to look at someone else’s writing and wish we could do that too. It’s the nature of insecurity. But, we each have our strengths. In my critique group, Angela has an amazing voice. Cami is spectacular at setting the scene. Dani does delicious dialogue. Jim is the master of structure. Kelley finds kinks in all the grammar. Troy thrills with tension-packed action.

Me? Well, I can pervert a non-sexual situation. Yay!

Since no one person is the expert at everything, we come together to use each other’s strengths to improve. That’s what makes our critique group great.

What is your strength? Have you ever been jealous of someone else’s talent? What is one talent you wish you had?

About Insecure Writer’s Support Group
You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

37 thoughts on “If You Weren’t My Friend, I’d Hate You #IWSG

  1. oh yes we have all been there!! My main thing is I am SO jealous of anyone who can dance! I’m not awful at it, but I always loved it and wished I could do it effortlessly. I took classes as a teen and it was torture for me to learn steps, and a combination that could take someone five minutes to learn could take me two weeks. I’d rather write, but still. lol

  2. I think we’ve all felt that way at some point! I used to think my talent was writing but I’ve been so insecure about that lately I don’t even think that anymore. I wish I could be more creative with other things .

  3. Love that picture! And I laughed out loud at what your strength was. You’re an excellent writer. I love your quirkiness. I do sometimes get jealous of other writers, but I compare myself to them less than I used to. My strength… I hope great characterization.

  4. You should never underestimate the value of being able to pervert a non-sexual situation. It is a innate ability and cannot be learned.

    As for me, I’m a terribly jealous and petty individual. I’m covetous of everyone. My only strength is being a master of WordPerfect 5.1, a skill which I admit doesn’t come up very often.

    IWSG February

  5. I really need to join this group.

    This is so true. And I think, even we’re not naturally jealous people, we have all felt this. It makes me laugh: “If you weren’t my friend, I’d hate you.” I’ve heard variations of this. It always makes me smile. (Depending on the situation, of course.) ?

    But you? You are so talented, my friend.

  6. I envy anyone who can use their talent to be successful, and at the same I am thrilled by them and in awe. Normally this is in writing, drawing and dancing areas, but not limited. I admire these people and try to learn from them, but I always feel so inadequate, so I get it. I keep hoping that if they can do it, maybe I will do it, which still an ongoing battle for me. If I have a strength in writing I guess it probably be in characterization and world building, although with world building I have a little more of a struggle. I am good at giving positive encouragement to others I think, or at least I have been told that.
    Wishing You The Best
    Juneta Writer’s Gambit

  7. Good post. My strength. I’m told I do emotion well. My weakness? Description. It’s agony. I’m trying to get better, but I’ll probably always be a minimalist.

  8. I recently finsihed reading The Lavender Keeper by Fiona McIntosh. It’s not my usual genre but I envied her style and use of words. She is an exquisit writer and I hope some day (preferably sooner rather than later) I will be able to captivate a reader the way she did me. Have a great week, Loni and thanks for a great post!!

  9. Great reminder, Loni. Why is it so easy to downplay or forget or ignore our own talents? Definitely something we need to work on changing!

  10. Your superpower writing strength is awesome!!
    I can plot and outline to death. Is that a good thing?

  11. I used to go jealous over other people’s talents all the time but now I appreciate their talents and mine. We all can’t be equally talented.

    BTW I’m halfway through Thanmir War! Woot! 😀

  12. I’m so with you on those writing insecurities. There used to be a writer in my critique group who could come up with the most amazing similes and metaphors. They made her writing so beautiful. I always envied her way with words because I find it really hard to think of those comparisons. Even when I do come up with some, they’re not very good. I’ll just have to keep working at it.

  13. I suppose I could say that I’ve been envious of talents displayed by others I know, but at the same time I respect and appreciate those talents. Each of us has something special within us and it’s a matter of finding it and tapping into it. I wish I was better at everything. It would be nice to have practical talents like fixing stuff.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  14. Your strength totally cracked me up. 😀
    Yeah, I’ve been guilty of unfavorably comparing myself to others and wishing I had whatever magic they had, but I’m trying to stop doing that. Old habits do die hard though.

  15. “Me? Well, I can pervert a non-sexual situation. Yay!” <—–Awesome talent. Seriously.

    There was a guy in my old writers group who wrote these amazing short stories that always had some perfect twist to them. Every time he'd read one to the group, everyone would just hang on every word because they were just so good. I don't know if 'jealous' is the right word for it, but someday, I'd really love to write stories like that.

    Oh, and I've highly enjoyed the Hero Guy pictures you've posted.

  16. I love this post! I’m so bad at comparing myself to other people and wishing I had what they have. But this year, I’m trying to have a more positive outlook – like you said, we all have different talents. Everyone is unique. Apparently I’m good at setting the scene in my writing, which I genuinely thought I was rubbish at until several people complimented me on it! Non-Writing wise, I like to think I’m good at baking :). There are several talents I wish I had – being able to sing, play the piano, being sociable….oh well!

    Rachel Pattinson
    February IWSG Co-host

  17. God, yes. I’m constantly jealous of everyone.
    But I think that’s human nature – to see the positives in others while struggling to see them in ourselves. You’re friend sounds like superwoman, by the way.

  18. It’s awesome you have a regular group. It’s so important. In my group, everyone also has their own strengths and can tell others how to add more of *whatever* into their own novel. You and I are both very lucky we found such great people to help us!!

  19. But your strength is awesome!

    I’ve been told by my critique group that characters with distinct voices are my strength. Then I struggle with everything else. When my stuff comes back marked up a lot compared to the others, I feel like the weakest link in the group.

    I see a lot of people that I wish I had their talents. Art, music, being better at hitting my targets…writing.

  20. I love your unique crit group talent! teehee
    What is your strength? I dunno
    Have you ever been jealous of someone else’s talent? Uh, yeah
    What is one talent you wish you had? I dunno, I mean I probably do, but I can’t think of anything right now.

  21. Oh yeah, felt that way a couple of times. And as for strength, I’ve been told is word usage. But I’ll add characterization. Need to work on dialogue though.

  22. I’m pretty good at noticing time line problems and getting the science right. My first critique partner was so good at catching over used words. Good point that we all have something to offer others.

  23. If you ever need a cheer person to bring some pep I can be a guest to your group Loni. 🙂

  24. Ha! My sister and did this all the time when we were younger. We each thought the other had a better life. People are fickle. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  25. I’m pretty much jealous of all other writers. My biggest problem is an inability to take the picture in my head and convert it into words on a page in a way that doesn’t suck. I understand story structure and character arcs, and all that technical stuff, but the words still elude me. Sigh.

  26. We were just talking about this in our author group.
    I wish I could write 100,000 word MS so I had something to cut/edit.
    Instead I’m desperately trying to add words to get it up to over 50,000.
    But, my strength (I feel) is dialogue. Love to write it!

    Great post!

  27. LOL I’ve felt like that before. Like I wish I could sing. At all. I’m so bad, I don’t even try to moouth the words at church.

  28. Not sure if dreaming up new ideas is a strength, so might have to say that I am just envious of you all talented creators. I write but still have to find my strength (after sixty odd years). Insecurity? So jealous yes.

  29. Yes, I get jealous. I get so jealous, I long ago quit trying to pretend I’m above it. I just accept it as human nature. We often fail to see our own gifts, but I suppose that keeps us humble.

    I can pervert things too. It’s the thirteen-year-old in me that still giggles at the number 69’s fault.

  30. I try not to be jealous of other people. ESPECIALLY when it comes to writing. Just seems like a poisonous thing to do to myself.

    BUT. I wish I could learn how to cook like people on cooking shows.

  31. Yes. I get jealous of my fellow writers all the time. They are so creative and get so much accomplished in short amounts of time. But I also know how hard they work. I wish I was a lot more laid back, though. Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog. Wishing you the best.

  32. My friend just told me the other day that she was glad I found something I really enjoy in writing. When I look at her, I see a great mom who loves her sons. Even when we don’t feel accomplished, I think we all have areas that people look at with jealousy. I am jealous of people who can play the piano beautifully. I have longed to play like that for most of my adult life, but I don’t have the time or discipline to really learn.

  33. We all have different skills/talents/strengths.
    Diversity is wonderful!
    Life would be so boring if we were all the same, wouldn’t it?

  34. LOL!!
    “Well, I can pervert a non-sexual situation. Yay!” I think we’d be great friends. 🙂
    Fantastic post, Loni! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

  35. I don’t remember the exact words, but the best quote I’ve read on this matter says that we feel insecure because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s best-in-show. I think that sums it up – we can never know what’s really going on in someone’s head, so it’s really easy to think others are together and awesome while we’re struggling, when they’re probably in a similar place and looking at us like we’re awesome.

    As for my strength, the one thing I know I do well is pacing. I don’t know if it’s from reading a lot or just intuition, but I’ve always been able to keep a story going, to know when to slow down and when to speed up, that sort of thing. I always ask my readers about it and I always hear back that it worked. ^_^ I do wish I could put more emotion into my stories, though. I’m kind of a reserved person most of the time, and that seeps into my writing, making it hard for me to do really emotional moments and make them work.

  36. cathrina constantine

    I believe people are fibbing if they don’t get a tinge of jealousy at one point or another over someone else’s success. But at the same we’re happy for them.

    Have a nice week!!!!

  37. I’m jealous of writers who can and do market their work well.

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