We had this great discussion about jealousy, about how it's natural to feel it, and how talking about it dissipates the sting of it. She said she took my feelings as a compliment, and that too often, jealousy and envy are something writers don't discuss. I know where my feelings come from. A sense that there is not enough to go around. A feeling that there is enough to go around but not for ME. My own persona psychodrama! But I don't act on those feelings, and if I do, it's in a positive way. I heap on more praise (I am a big believer in karma) or I might post a great Amazon review for someone. I want my friend's novel to succeed brilliantly (and trust me, it is so great, that it will) and I want to help her do everything she can to make it big. I know that my jealousy was not that I did not want her to have that great writing, but it was something more turned inward--a fear that I did not have the writing chops that she does, a sick yearning to be that good and a nauseous fear that I never would be.
Of course, there are times when you can't help but feel irritated--like when a book that is slapped together gets front page praise everywhere and a multi-million dollar advance, let's say. But that's more about unfairness.
So, how do any of you handle jealousy and envy? And if you never, ever feel it, can you bottle what you have and send me a case?