on Writers Helping Writers:
Years ago there was a commercial for Pepto-Bismol where a nerdy guy in glasses looked straight into the camera and says, “Can we talk about diarrhea?” It was an effective ad because they took the bull by the horns, as it were. They didn’t sugar coat the malady; they didn’t try to cleverly talk around it.
People get diarrhea. But they don’t like to talk about it. Sometimes, however, they have to in order to stop it.
That’s the feeling I have right now in talking to writers about a malady that may affect every one of them from time to time: envy. Can we talk about envy?