The project I'm currently querying is set in an art school. I picked Shakespeare's Othello as one of the things the students perform because of Iago’s speech. The bad guy in my WIP has a major jealousy problem, a problem I myself am currently struggling with.
The writing community is one of the most supportive and understanding communities I have ever known. So many authors have been where I'm at, having finished a manuscript, edited it, run it through beta readers and critique partners, edited and polished it some more, and still no bites from agents. Sure, maybe it's the query letter, or maybe it's a stylistic issue, or maybe it's just that everything is so subjective (yes, I cringe at that word too), but sometimes I can't help feeling a twinge of jealously when a writer I know moves a step ahead of me (gets an agent or publishing contract) and I'm still down here in the query trenches. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy for that person that I could burst, but I can feel that green-eyed monster lurking in the background, preparing to mock me.
So what do I do when I have that feeling? Well, I don't sulk or crawl under the covers and hide, though I'd like to sometimes. No, I put on my happy face (read, watch funny youtube clips until my sides hurt from laughing) and keep pushing forward. I re-look at my query and make sure it's showing the story, and the stakes the characters must face, in a way that will make my novel irresistible. I reread the first few chapters to make sure they pull the reader into the story enough without being too info dumpy and I continue to work on other projects that are taking up my brain space.
Ultimately, the green-eyed monster is no match for me because I know I'll overpower it, but it may get in a few more good hits before that happens.
What about you? How do you deal with jealousy.