09 April 2011

Green Eyed Love

Currently pushing: Looking at work spaces. A guy I know started this site, All Work Know Play, that showcases people's desks -- mostly artists, designers, fashion folk. And then Julia Wertz posted her desk, and Theresa's drool worthy home office. Looking at all these desks, I'm convinced major work must happen there. Also, here's this article about writing anywhere you can and typewriters in the bathroom.

[Update]: And Ameer's rewiring of his desk.

Since I rarely have the same work space ("Have laptop, will travel"), lately I've been trying to get mental with it. How quick can I get myself into a place where writing happens? Or not even writing, but anything semi-productive. I used to require double screens for everything, but after being away from my beloved doubles or so long, I've gotten used to the smaller real estate. When writing or researching though -- or surfing and AIM chatting -- having one screen is just never enough is it? Part of getting myself there is to just ditch the idea that I have to be fully comfortable in order to write.

No more trying to find the perfect chair, the ideal distance from the monitor, the right music queued up, the right snack foods within arm's length. I just need to get busy and do it. Does this sound like a pep talk? I hope it does I'm pep talking myself. Out loud.

Of course, some day I'd like a desk with some fun things around it because I like to decorate. Actually some day I'd just like to own a desk.

Over at the Dear Sugar Rumpus column, a reader writes in to talk about professional jealousy. "Even when I pretend to be happy when my writer friends get good news, the truth is I feel like I swallowed a spoonful of battery acid. For days afterwards I go around feeling queasy and sad, silently thinking why not me?"

Everyone feels this way sometimes. A friend gets promoted and you're happy but a bit blue at being passed over. Someone buys a new house and you wonder why you can't buy a new house too. Their friends are better than your friends, etc. Jealousy can just appear anywhere can't it? Not to get all high and mighty on you, but this kind of jealousy doesn't really afflict me. I think it's probably because I'm overly convinced of my own awesomeness so it's rarely under debate. Some people call it delusional.

I guess I don't fully understand the sort of jealousy that appears when people have something you don't. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have some of the things that I see around me. A desk for example. A career. Belongings. Certain kinds of friends or community. But those are things that are being sought out, and they'll eventually arrive. What I don't understand is how not having something makes someone feel terrible about themselves.

To what is your self worth attached if it can be negated by other people's positive accomplishments? Shouldn't it be inspiring to see other people achieve? Instead there's oftentimes an attitude of taking them down or trying to dismiss their success. Compare and contrast has replaced show and tell. Failure is great for the soul, but not jealousy! I guess there's a lot of "it could/should have been me" but ultimately it wasn't you, so move on people.

Definitely read Sugar's response to the reader because it's pretty spot on. And this 2003 excerpt of an article by Kathryn Chetkovich, "Envy," talks about her relationship with Jonathan Franzen. Both were struggling writers at one point but then Franzen went on to huge success, obviously.