Tuesday, June 16, 2009
From Toxic to Bliss?
There have been some interesting posts recently that discuss expectations, jealousy, and ideas about navigating the emotional rollercoaster that is the writing world.
Here's my two cents:
The ups and down of writing, revising, attempting to get an agent, get published, get reviewed, and the list goes on, inevitably produces the full range of human emotions from euphoria to rage to despondence. More often than not, this mental yuck will be directed at those of whom we're jealous or who we blame for our current dire-seeming circumstance.
Rather than hiding from these volatile feelings or pretending that we don't experience them, I think it's best to find productive ways to move through the toxic mire of envy and self-doubt to the Elysian fields of hope and confidence. To achieve this end requires conscientious, thoughtful traversing through one's own psyche.
When it comes to human relations I still don't think you can get much better than the golden rule: Do unto others as you'd have done unto you.
There's a reason this saying has been enshrined at the United Nations.
But even with the best of intentions, it's important to acknowledge and experience the emotions that come with the darker sides of writing life, namely rejection. So how can we rage without doing permanent damage?
I think I found the answer in the All-American Rejects song "Gives You Hell."
With this wickedly catchy song and what is perhaps the funniest video I've ever watched, the message is clear:
Yes you'll get angry, yes you'll be frustrated, yes you'll feel crazy, but at the end of the day it's all about walking a mile in the other person's shoes, knowing we're all in this together and that we're all human.