"Shall we talk for a moment about envy? This tender subject has come up among some of my writer friends lately, and we all agree: Envy is mostly useless. It robs us of joy and generosity and works hard to diminish our love for our own hard-won words. My advice? Allow the envy to overtake you in whatever way it wishes -- for 24 hours only. (You will probably find that 24 hours is envy's natural life span, but only if you don't pretend you're not feeling it.) Wallow if you must. Rail against the muses. Eat much ice cream. Do not plot murder. Another's success does not diminish your own chances. Envy seduces us into looking at the world as a zero-sum: his gain is my loss. This is not true. If it is a friend you envy, don't feel ashamed; he has felt exactly this way at one time or another. Remember what you will want your friend to feel for you when your fortune turns (and it will). Remind yourself why you like this friend, and why this friend likes you. After that, suck it up get back to work, because writing is the one and only cure." ~ Monica Wood, The Pocket MuseToday during the general welcome and introduction to the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College, our director, Meg Kearney, touched on the topic of envy and imparted upon us a type of cure that not only works but enables your own writing to flourish brightly in the end. She talked of 'falling in love' with someone else's work. In the act of rooting for them, helping them, guiding them as much as possible and cheering them on in their publication endeavors, you will grow as a writer and a human being and your writing will show that growth. It is possible that I've mentioned Envy on this blog before, but even if I have, it is very worthy of further mention. Love the writing around you and the writing around you will love you back.
For a more detailed account of my time at Pine Manor College, please visit my personal blog: Day One in Boston and Day Two in Boston. Tomorrow I take the class on Dystopian literature and hope to have many fascinating tidbits to share here. Until then, I leave you with this: Envy is a waste when there are six other perfectly good Deadly Sins you could be enjoying.
Amanda LaFantasie (Skoora) © 2013