I was reading this amusing blog post by Chuck Wendig today, 25 Bad Writer Behaviors. About 40% of his advice boils down to: Your feelings are dumb. And really, they are. Bitch about being butthurt to your SO, agree with him when he tells you it’s stupid to be butthurt about the internet, and be done with it. Take a day off to roll around and whinge about the fact that your beta-reader called your main character TSTL. That’s it though, you get a day. After that you need to go and thank your beta-reader, and work on your character, so people find the fact that she’s breathing and walking believable.
All of this is easier said than done, I understand. Emotions are like a gerbil wheel that we keep running on. Self-pity, doubt, anger, sadness, we get started with them, and then what?
Buddhists practice something called “mindful meditation”. Think of it as practicing not thinking, a very valuable skill when you need to chill the fuck out.
Even the way Buddhists think about emotions is different. When you’re practicing meditation, whatever thoughts/feelings you have, you just pat them on their head and send them on their way.
It’s both freeing, and frightening, the thought that your emotions aren’t important. On one hand, they’re such an integral part of who we are. On the other, sometimes they jerk us around like they’re running the show, not us. If some envy can spurn your creativity, that’s great; otherwise, it needs to GTFO so you can be productive.
Anyways, I’ve always been of the opinion that a little secular Buddhist philosophy never hurt anyone. Here are some books:
Warning: Combining secular Buddhism with existentialism may lead you to believe: Nothing exists, everything is sacred.