The Writers Festival : How I Handle Envy

On the weekend I went to The Perth Writer’s Festival, held this year in the beautiful grounds of Fremantle Arts Centre.

I have been going to this annual event since 2011 at least and have discovered many amazing authors and books there.

I love listening to the conversations about the different topics, books and the writing process.

This year I went to The Business of Writing for four hours on Friday evening and then from 10am to 3.30pm on the Saturday.

I watched an interview with Pip Williams, author of The Dictionary of Lost Words, a fictional tale based on true events about all the women’s words that were left out of the Oxford Dictionary when it was first created.

And one with Michelle de Krester, two time winner of the Miles Franklin award.

She was talking about her new book Scary Monsters, containing two fictional stories of immigrants.

As she spoke of the one about a South-East Asian Australian woman in her twenties who is living in Montpellier and makes friends with many North Africans, teaching English, I thought,

Are you actually writing about me?

Another was with Christoph Tsioklas, famous for The Slap, about his new novel 7 1/2 about the creative process and writing during lockdown.

I went to a session on Flash Fiction and on Sunday to one on Car Crash, a Memoir, written by a young man from Queensland who survived the accident that killed three of his best mates and put two in comas.

It was sunny, with delicious crepes and cakes, I learned some helpful and interesting things and felt nourished by it all.

But somewhere in there, between sessions on Saturday, I felt this pang of envy in my gut.

 Envy : A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.

Envy can be quite subtle and if we are not in tune with our bodies and emotions, we may not even be aware that we are feeling it.

Instead we may criticise, pick fault, judge or just turn away and ignore.

Tell ourselves it’s not meant for us.

So we might hate it.

Instead of running towards it. 

Once upon a time, I might have not even put myself in the situation to avoid feeling the envy.

But now I welcome it.

Because I know how to handle it.

So what to do when faced with envy or any uncomfortable emotion?

1..Recognise it. Even if we can’t name the emotion, we can feel where it is in our body. I go more into this in the Empower Guide.

2. Forgive and release the person and ourselves. Just say it quietly or in our mind, or write it down. If the emotion feels very big or we want to, we can do EFT (tapping) for it.

3. Get clear on why we feel this way. What is the belief behind it? Is it true? How do we know it’s true? Can something else be true? Are there any examples? Then it’s not ultimately true. What would be better to believe?

And that’s it!

For example, if I am envious of this writer, then it means that I believe it’s not meant for me too, rather than just not as far as he/she is on the path.

Instead I choose to believe that it’s happening for me too.

Today when I came back to my desk and worked on my own book, there was not a spec of envy in sight.

When we are busy creating our own, we don’t have time to feel envious.

But it is good, as I’ve said, to put ourselves in situations where we do feel emotions.

Even if it’s social media.

Not all the time, but sometimes.

If I find myself feeling envy as I scroll, I’ll go back and like.

It’s a process.

Of voting.

For the future.

We are creating.

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