Last June, Psychology Today published an article about two types of envy. This link from their blog describes a not so pretty picture of two best friends dealing with envy.
I rarely read magazines because I’m not interested in the entertainment fluff inside the covers of most of them. But what else could I do? I’d forgotten to bring my book , some *&##** stole my kindle, and I had five minutes to wait before I could get my hair cut.
I turned to the article on envy because over the last few months the idea of envy seemed to niggled in my mind. I’ve been working so darn hard on my manuscript revising, tweaking, and more revision and now it’s feels almost ready.
I’m never one to leave well enough alone. The what-ifs started hopping around in my head. What if I get published before my friends. They’ve all worked harder and longer than I have. How will they feel? Or worse, what if they publish and I never do?
This article discussed two forms of envy.
One is destructive where we buy a collection of pins and obtain a voodoo doll. How dare our friend achieve fortune or fame before we do.
The other form makes us think, “Aha! If she can do this, then there’s hope. It’s within my abilities too. This task isn’t impossible after all.” With these thoughts, this type of envy lets us feel joyful in our friend’s accomplishments.
BFF mandates celebrations of each others successes. Patricia Smith Wood and I’ve been friends since all those silly Junior High School parties and sleep-overs.
Her dad was an F.B.I. agent. Things just couldn’t get any cooler than that. Naturally, we both loved mysteries. She preferred Nancy Drew while I consumed all the Hardy Boys books (I’m talking about the pre-1960 versions before some unthinking person watered down all the rich vocabulary).
Here’s to you, Pat! May you sell thousands of your book, The Easter Egg Murder, become rich, and take all of your writing friends out to the St. James Tea Room.
My manuscript is still in the (I hope final) revision stage, so please stay tune for my next post: Part II Revision, Revision, Revision, where we tackle the problem of not abusing dialogue.
What side of the envy dilemma have you been on? How did you handle it?