I came across this old post the other day and thought it was both a timely reminder and a message worth re-sharing.
It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. I’ll be heading off to RWA nationals soon and, although I’ll undoubtedly come back with a lot of useful information and a renewed commitment to my writing, it’s very likely that I’ll also come back with thoughts of “I’ll never write as many books as Author X” and “I’m not nearly as far along in my writing career as Author Y.” It doesn’t help when I see notes from ghost-writer friends about their 10,000 word days or how they drafted out a book in a week. Though I intellectually know better, and it tends to take the shine off my own progress, it is regrettably easy to do.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
As writers, we’re all on our own paths. Writing the stories that only we can write, and in a way that is unique to us. Comparing ourselves to others does little more than take some of the fun out of our creative process and can, in some cases, stop creativity dead in its tracks.
“There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.” ~ Francis Bacon
Avoiding the comparison trap is a challenge for me because, as I found out during one of the random “team building” assessments we periodically do at work, I’m a bit competitive. Gasp! I don’t think of myself as competitive, but when I asked some independent observers for confirmation (i.e., family members), they responded with comments like “oh you absolutely are” and bombarded me with examples.
I, like my manuscript, am a work in progress, and there’s no time for comparisons with others.