Through Gritted Teeth (GoYA)

Augustines - Kendal Calling 2014-1

Every time one of my fellow photographers succeeds, with the exception of a small number of close friends, I have to grit my teeth as I congratulate them.

There, I’ve said it. I’m a sore loser. Well, not even a loser. What have I actually lost when someone else achieves something that I haven’t? “Nothing at all” is the answer; it’s not a zero-sum game.

And yet others’ success somehow leaves me feeling diminished, as though through their scaling of whatever peak they’ve somehow closed the way behind them.

As arguments go it is, as a friend of mine would say, bobbins.

So what’s to be done? How does one pull one’s socks up and get on with it when you’re hurting from watching others triumph where you have remained static, through ineptitude or inaction or sheer bad luck?

And actually, as I write this out — it always helps to write things down; I don’t know what I’m thinking until I do, much of the time — I realise something:

It’s never watching someone succeed where I failed that hurts.

It’s watching them succeed where I didn’t give it a shot at all.

And there’s the answer, my friends. The only way to stop the pain of watching others’ careers flourish and bloom where yours is remaining static is to get off your arse and Do. The. Work.