Telling envy where to get off

illustration by dave seah of a quote from bonnie gillespie This post is #13 in a series of 50 dedicated to the art and life of writing, in support of the 50 for 50 Project to benefit WriteGirl. If you like it, or if you think it could have been improved by a better writing education for its author, please give generously. And pass it on.

One of the fledgling writer's least favorite and most persistent sidekicks is envy.

Oh, hell, forget "fledgling"; try "living".

I'd like to think it's a necessary artistic tool to keep me humble or even to spur me onward to greater heights, but the reality is that for most of my productive life, envy did neither, it just hung around like a stale funk, stinking up the joint.

Which is why I first met the worldview of one Bonnie Gillespie, a prolific and excellent writer (who, in my opinion, is nowhere near as well-recognized as she should be), with more than a little skepticism. How could you write so much and so well and for so long and for not nearly enough and not hate someone's guts?

But she doesn't. Trust me, I've tested and prodded and snuck up on her from all kinds of angles. Ladyfriend may have her other demons, but she is seriously, genuinely envy-free. As is her husband. Who is an actor.

Here are Bonnie's words on the subject, which sometimes accompany her delightful, helpful emails courtesy of a magical rotating signature:

Any time I see someone succeed I am happy, for it affirms my belief that I live in a world where success is possible.

How great is that? Pretty great! So great that it resides in my permanent quote file. And now, thanks to Bonnie and my friend Dave Seah, who came out of illustration retirement to render it as a desktop wallpaper, it also resides on my desktop. Just adjacent to my other, smaller desktop, which holds Tsilli Pines' gorgeous rendering of my personal-mantra quote by Beverly Sills.

You can own them both, along with this by Austin Kleon (and more to come!) for a modest donation to the 50-for-50 Project of just $15. Only until September 13th, 2011. After which you will have to deal with your envy and your impatience and all of your other demons on your own.

xxx c

Image inside the frame by Dave Seah, illustrating a quote by Bonnie Gillespie. You can get it in a luxurious, desktop-sized image of inspiration with a $15 contribution to the 50-for-50 project on IndieGoGo, through September 13, 2011.