Free Your Pen · Writing

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Don’t Be Jealous

Don’t be jealous is about remembering not to be jealous of others. The original slogan is the same and it encourages you to pay attention to how you compare yourself with others, especially when you feel insecure.

Jealousy comes from a feeling of not having enough or not being good enough. The more you notice how much better other people are, the worse you feel about yourself and the more jealous you become. But comparing yourself to others in this way makes no sense because everybody has different needs and values.

When you let jealousy take over your life, all it does is undermine your own self-belief and confidence. It stops you from appreciating what you already have and the many positive qualities you possess.

Ultimately, this is about self-acceptance. Feeling jealous of others is a way to hide from your fears and insecurity, so this slogan encourages you to accept yourself as you are. Be kinder to yourself and remember all your positive qualities. You can also flip jealousy on its head and practice feeling joy for others who are happy and successful.

Apply this slogan to your writing practice by remembering that feeling jealous isn’t in your best interest if you want to write well.

When you compare your level of success or talent with other writers, you undermine your ability to see your own writing clearly. There may be nothing wrong with the way you write, but if you constantly hold it against others, especially those who appear to be more successful, you’ll start to believe you’re not good enough.

Comparing your writing with that of others can be useful if you do it in the spirit of learning how to improve your work. You can pick up tips for making your prose more dynamic or creating believable dialogue. You can even learn the skills you need to sell your work more effectively by studying the techniques used to attract readers.

But if you allow your inspiration to sour into jealousy because you feel bitter about your lack of success, your writing will suffer and so will you. So when you feel tempted to give in to the green-eyed monster, take a step back and notice what you’re doing. It may be true that the object of your jealousy is a better writer or more successful, but instead of hating them for it, ask yourself what you can learn from them.

Your writing prompt this weekend: Find out more about an author you admire/envy. Does this make you admire or envy them more or less? What can you learn from this?

More in the book: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers
Advertisements

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.