Being a Writer is Difficult
The reality of being a writer is that it is YOU who creates the most problems. When your writer brain gets wedged between a negative space and a boulder–guess what–you’re in trouble.
One of the first things you need to learn as a writer is that you are unique and playing the comparison game will get you no where. I mean that sincerely. You’ll be frozen in fear and imposter syndrome to the point of not being able to produce the work that you want.
So, right now, give your head a frickin shake and stop the self destructive behaviour. Or, hey, continue on… it’s always your choice.
Here’s Five Way Reasons Why You Should Never Compare Yourself OR Your Work To Other Writers!
One: Writing is Not A Competitive Sport.
Believe me when I say, you can’t compare a finish line sprint to the act of writing. If you think you want to be faster, smarter, or more unique than the writer next to you… well, you’re going to disappoint only yourself
Every individual writer is different.
There is no competition. You can’t write what they write and nor can they write in your unique voice or vision.
Competition infers a fight, a race, or a rivalry, but in the case of your writing as compared to others, these don’t exist.
Go back and read that last sentence again. If it doesn’t resonate, then do it again until it does.
You have a unique brain. You have a unique voice. You have unique experiences. And, no one will see your story the same way.
Think of a writing prompt and the writers. Three may take the easy and expected direction of the prompt by giving little thought to their uniqueness, while others can go in such opposite directions that you’re left to wonder where it came from.
You can do that. Dig deep. Be specifically you and start encouraging and congratulating the writers around you for their achievements.
Don’t be jealous because they’re doing the work and you’re not. Who’s issue is that?
Two: You’ll Never Measure Up… Ever.
If you’re going to compare yourself to other writers, believe me, you’ll always be left wanting. The truth of the matter is that, there are writers who are worse than you and many who are better.
That my friend, is the reality.
You can read other peoples work and think…omg, what a pile of crap, but the fact of the matter is that they took the time to write it. Do you do that? Do you allow yourself to write crap or are you too good for that?
We all grow and morph in our craft as we mature or experience new things. Get over yourself and continue on your path. You will get better, but you won’t always be everyone’s cup of tea.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Three: No One Likes Negative Energy From a Writer (or anyone, for that matter)!
For me, one of the last thing I want to be surrounded with, is negativity.
It’s such a downer when someone constantly whines or negates others. If you see yourself in that, then it’s time to get your act together and grow up!
If you don’t win in contests or other submissions, rewrite your story. Remember too that the judge is only one opinion. That’s what’s great about writing–you can always rewrite. Not all creatives are given that luxury.
If you write fantasy, don’t be down on romance, thriller, sci-fi etc. You’re not the only writer or genre. And, if you’re not finding success or satisfaction in your genre, maybe you need to add a bit of romance to it. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment.
Always try and remain on the positive track or you’ll derail yourself straight into never finishing anything and getting mired down in the sticky horrid place of negativity.
You’re better than that. Shake it off and get on with your own writing.
Four: You Must be Open to Learning
You know all those other writers… the ones who you’re comparing yourself to?– well, do you know what they do to make themselves better writers? Do you know their routine?
Sometimes we can look at it through the lens of a beauty pageant, where the top-rated individual has worked diligently on their talent, diction, and poise. They’ve taken classes and dedicated time and effort to getting better.
That person will be judged against those who did not prepare as much, perhaps didn’t respect the process, or just thought they were good enough to do anything.
How do you compare the two?
If you’re the one who’s just strolling in and expecting accolades simply because you wrote something, how will that be seen against the person who takes the time to learn and present a polished product?
Is it then fair to beat yourself up with comparisons? and is it fair that the other participant is judged negatively in any way because they worked hard?
Think about it.
As I said, writing is tough and you need to be tough too. In the above situation there is so much to be learned in regards to work ethic and opportunity.
Don’t judge. Don’t compare. Allow yourself to learn. That’s what it’s all about. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t go into something thinking you’re all that and a bag of chips… ’cause darling–you’re not. Sorry.
Five: Comparing Yourself to Other Writers Is a Waste Of Time.
How many times have you lain in bed thinking of the most solid plot for you book… the start is there, the characters, and the twist…Oh man, it’s gonna be spectacular.
You set yourself up at the computer and a bunch of gobbly-gook falls onto the page. What the hell is that? It doesn’t resemble anything like you planned in your head but welcome to the world of writing. It happens to all of us.
As writers’ we’re more alike than different. We doubt ourselves and our ability to produce a full length novel, but let me tell you, it takes someone special to do just that.
The ability to write, create characters, and weave plots together, is a gift. It’s up to you to use that gift.
At your desk (or wherever you write), put up some affirmations to remind yourself… Like:
- I am a unique and powerful person. I will not compare myself to other writers
- Nobody can write what I write because we’re all different.
- I will be ME and not try to be anyone else.
- I will constantly try and move forward in my craft to improve and grow.
- Being a whiney negative person is not attractive
- Putting down other writers and their work shows a pettiness within me.
- Writing is not a race. There is no scoreboard. Writers brains are unique.
- I’m allowed to write crap and will learn how to improve it.
- I will support the work of other writers because it is better to lift another writer.
- Writing is a gift. A gift that should be used. I must focus, give myself a kick in the butt and utilize this gift to the highest potential.
- I will not compare my writing or my skills to those of other writers.
Feel free to print these out and post them by your writing spot.
Tell me now in the comments, which affirmation resonates with you. I hope it helps.
Stop the comparison. Stop the whining. Get to work.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my post. Follow below.
4 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why You Should Never Compare Yourself to Other Writers”
Thank you, we all need to be reminded that we are one voice and every voice is different.
Hi Lauren. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, a reminder is needed. 😊
I so agree with all of these – and comparing yourself to anyone else in any aspect of life just seems like a recipe for trouble.
Trouble with a capital T for sure. Thanks so much for reading. I so appreciate it.