Frittering around on the internet this morning, I wandered by Theodora Goss‘s blog, where she has a piece up about envy. The pull quote:
“I don’t like envying other people. For one thing, there’s something unworthy about it. If I want something that someone else has, I should figure out how to get it for myself, rather than envying that person.”
I have a wicked, wicked envyspite’n’guile problem. I waste far too much time bemoaning failures and railing at the fickle gods who let so-and-so get away with murder, get pubbed in this or that magazine, appear to be living the dream, etc. This is especially difficult when it comes to writing.
The writing and submitting…isn’t going so well (are we allowed to admit that? Yes, yes we are), but I’m doing what I can, where I can. Rather than envy the people around me, howzabout being a leetle more self-aware and acknowledging that my failures are a result of choices I’ve made? I chose to focus on school. I could’ve dropped out, gotten a day job and written in the evenings. It would’ve meant lots more writing time, that’s for certain. Watching many of my colleagues postpone exams in order to write doesn’t help matters, either. I made a different choice, and my writing’s suffered.
As I knew it would. And yet, I keep getting bummed out about all the work I’m not doing — exacerbated by all the brilliant people around me getting shit done. I spend far too much time being envious, especially of those folks who seem to have near-infinite writing time, when I can barely squeeze out a blog post, or a single revision pass, or even just keep the work I do have complete out there and circulating in the marketplace.
The solution here is not to turn green and muscly, thump my chest, and beat up on myself (or other people–their successes are not my failures), no matter what the angrybrain says when it’s in self-hate mode. The only solution is to stick to my gameplan: to get through this exam process, and then to write, write, write, bigger better faster moar.
This is almost over. In two months’ time, it’ll all be nothing but a bad dream.
[TMI that will make you turn green: In the continuing cold war between me and my body, body pulled the ultimate trump card this weekend: the flu. I was down and out all day Sunday/Monday, and am only now crawling back to the land of the living. Dear body: I am taking my exams. You may as well get used to it. Suck. It. Up. Love, Your disgruntled headmeats.]
…and now I’m going to go revise my paper, for the umpteenth time. Oy.