#IWSG Author envy anyone?

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question — Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

Co-hosts this month are: Diedre Knight, Tonya Drecker, Bish Denham, Olga Godim, and JQ Rose!


Author envy? Ha! All the time! If you are asking this question, you don’t know about my 69 collections of inspiration derived from books I read. Here are a few:

  • Flashed a smile that would have been at home on a shark
  • She’s humming and he doesn’t know how he’ll break the news
  • Did tragedy cause fissures, open them wider—or did tragedy merely turn on the light so you could see the fissure that had always been there?
  • If a man tires of London, he is tired of life
  • I hadn’t had lunch with Patricia since the last time the Red Sox won the pennant.

Don’t use any of these–they’re directly from someone else’s fiction (American copyright law allows me to copy a small snippet).

If you want more, visit my entire collection.

#iwsg #amwriting


Copyright ©2023 – All rights reserved.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Savage Land Winter 2024.


92 thoughts on “#IWSG Author envy anyone?

        • I think I signed up, but when it asked for access to my email box, I backed out, so we shall see. I don’t give others access to my email addresses unless I have permission from the owner of it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t know what that’s about. I don’t remember approving access to my email—I too am paranoid of giving out permissions. I just checked the list and you’re not there, but maybe it takes a bit to get added.

            But, I don’t think you have a blog so that may be why you are having a problem. You have to post monthly (or Alex deletes your name from the list) and you don’t have anywhere to post. FB doesn’t count as far as I know.

            It just may not be the right place for you to join, but still great to find a writer’s community.


  1. Not this kind of envy. For them, only admiration.

    My kind of envy (a peaceful one, because it never involves wishing anything bad to/ about the other) is the one towards writers which I think are not much better than me. At comparable writing skills… what am I lacking that I do not have her/ his success?

    And the answer is, usually, good luck, some good connections, money for promotions, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You certainly know how to organize and get the most out of everything you do, Jacqui. One and one always equals more than two with you. Have a great March!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, how about that? My post yesterday was about envy, though this is from a slightly different angle. When I read a beautiful passage that someone else wrote, I first have admiration, and then I think about the craft and the reasons it works so well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so true.. good thing you reminded me not to use them because you know me, I might have forgotten. Some of my best poems come from a line I write in a comment. Sometimes I go back and snag them so they don’t “steal” them. lol❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved those collections you curated for us. I’ve snagged a few goodies for inspiration from books from time to time too. I occasionally feel a stroke of genius in my writing that I could almost HOPE some other writer would think “Oooohhh…” about. I’m sure you’ve had that effect on people also.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love writers who have prose in their stories. I am currently listening to an audiobook series by Gregory David Roberts. His first book, “Shantaram” now “The Mountain Shadow” is told in the first person of his life story of breaking out of prison in Australia to fleeing to India where he becomes involved with the dark underworld of gangsters. His writing wraps around my mind and heart. His writing gives me inspiration and ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not envy, Jacqui. But I’ve found plenty of inspiration.

    Apple’s continuity between devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac Mini) makes it easy to grab an inspiring line from an ebook and paste into the Notes app. I’m focused on dialogue, metaphor, and simile patterns. I use inspiring lines to come up with my versions without plagiarism. As I use my freshly minted line, a quick mark-through digitally eliminates cluttering a story with duplicates.

    Raymond Chandler penned one of my favorites, a line by Philip Marlowe from Farewell My Lovely. “It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m always amazed at your organization… I have collected favorite sayings and snippets of stories in my journals going back to the late 70s–but they are mostly hand written and I’d have to go through a large tote to find them all. I do appreciate good quotes and more often use them–with credit–in speech.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, you don’t have severe arthritis in your hands, do you? That’s why you still handwrite. Just wait. When that day comes, you’ll be typing into a cloud-based notekeeper also!


  9. Pingback: #IWSG Author envy anyone? — – uwerolandgross

  10. All the time. I often read a line and think, why couldn’t I write lines like that. Here’s one: “She was famous for letting off hurricane-force wind capable of stunning the sparrows on her balcony and sending them spiralling down to the ground.” Brilliant!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Envy, emmm, not really. I do appreciate the use of words and the cleverness associated with their work. It may be conceited, but I like the way I write. Of course that may not be so great for sales, but… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Jacqui – no … I don’t have author envy – though I’d love to be able to write (and want) to have one published … yours certainly raise the bar towards those authorly heights – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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