Jealousy - oh jealousy, the green-eyed monster, that plagues us all. Sure it does! Don't pretend it doesn't or I'll be jealous of you being free from this. Why is is important for a writer to understand this word? Because, my ducky, you're going to feel it and your characters are going to feel it too. You're going to feel it when someone you LOVE and are good friends with gets an award, a publisher, an agent, and you are sitting there with your thumb in your mouth trying to say good and loving things while you burn bright green inside. You're going to feel it when others, others who don't choose to write or paint or whatever you do that doesn't bring in the bacon, talk about their next trip to Cuba and the deal they got on their tickets because they fly so much, and how boring it is to have lost their cleaning service and what will they do? Yes, my love, you and I will feel it. We'll feel it when someone else's children get accolades because their mother DID their science project while you, meanly, let your own kids do theirs because you had a phony, self-imposed deadline and so you bailed. And, you whine, that's not why you didn't do it - it's because it's stupid to do your children's work. And you are right but really, that's not why you didn't do it. It's because you are a writer and you'll never get acknowledged, and your phone bill will always be late, and your kids' Halloween costumes will be sad-ass, and your partner will roll his or her eyes when you complain about the publishing business for the gazillionth time.
Yes, my deary deary dearios, you will be jealous. I know.
The good thing about this? Oh yes, there's always a good thing. The good thing is that since you will be well-acquainted with the green-eyed monster - well then, so will your characters. You'll know what you do, how you narrow your eyes to tiny wee slits, or how your voice gets all sugary, or how you brush the hair off your face, when you're in the middle of a big old jealousy attack and you'll be able to draw on that knowledge for your protagonist, your villain and so on. A little word of advice, since we're on the topic: don't save all your nasty habits and ways for your villains - make them part of your protagonist's ways too.
All right. Enough on this nasty topic. Not my fault - I sit down, write the first letter and see what follows it. Just a knack I guess, no need to be jealous!