I am a jealous person.
Lately, I have found that jealousy is one of the best things to get my off my duff and to get me to do something. Something usually related to writing.
Why is this?
There’s nothing more motivating than seeing a friend or even a stranger’s accomplishment and thinking, “Damn, I should have done that!” or “Damn, why aren’t I that good?!” Nothing like a little good old-fashioned envy to get me into my writing seat.
There was a time when I used to feel badly about this tendency within me. Indeed, in some aspects of my life, this jealousy can be pretty harmful and destructive. But, I’ve come to see that jealousy as motivator to get work done is as good an incentive as any.
Take this case in point. Here I am, blogging after being away for over a week. What brought me here? Well, the free time, yes.
But, if I look more closely, it was viewing a colleague’s recent published column. Her column was marvelous. Beautiful. Funny. Whimsical. Poetic and heartfelt. And, it was in a very well-known journal. One I don’t even have visions of writing for. Completely off my radar.
Nothing sends me to the computer to type like the thought that I have been woefully squandering my time. And that I should be writing. Because someone else out there has already done it.
Is this lame? Shallow? Impure of motive? Sure! Is it entirely human? Yes. And entirely effective? Yes.
It’s times like these when I see that someone else got the prize–a prize I wanted. And someone else out there had the guts and the persistence and the chutzpah to cut through all of the writerly bullshit that we all deal with–and write. And put it out there. And, for better or for worse, I get my butt in the chair and for a few brief moments, I am all focus. My goal is clear.
And so I sit here now. For a little while. Until the little green-eyed monster and I join forces again.