How creative jealousy can be useful

I’ve had two envious moments recently. One relating to writing and one to photography. Neither of these envious moments is a surprise to me, as I’ve had similar ones before – seeing other people doing things I wish I had done myself.

I’d love to have an article published in a magazine or a newspaper. I’ve done a lot of self-publishing on my own blogs and for the Kindle. Plus a handful of guest posts on other blogs, and unpaid work for a few websites. But I’ve never been paid for writing.

But have I ever approached a magazine or a newspaper with an idea for a paid article?

No I haven’t.

I’d also love to see my photographs exhibited or published. I post them on Flickr and Instagram from time to time, but that’s about as far as it goes. Nobody has ever contacted me and said they love one of my photos, can they buy a print. Or got in touch to pay me for a licence to use a photo somewhere.

But have I ever had a stall at an event, approached a shop, or made it known that I’d like to sell some photography?

No I haven’t.

Do you spot a recurring theme there?

If I want to be paid for these things, I have to find opportunities to submit my work. I need to stop making excuses (not good enough, nobody will be interested, I don’t have any ideas etc etc) and start taking action.

Maybe other things have been a priority, so I’ve never had time to really investigate opportunities. Or maybe I’ve just come up with lame excuses every time I consider pursuing either of these things as a sideline.

Perhaps being paid or published isn’t my real measure of success?

But the fact remains – I am envious and I have been similarly envious many times in the past. I can choose to ignore this until the next time it happens.

Or I can set a small goal and commit to taking some action.

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