Uncategorized, Words on Wednesdays, writing

Fighting Back Against the Comparison Monster

Hey friends! Welcome back. Today’s post was written for you, to encourage you, but also for me. Comparison hit me hard last year, and when I wasn’t sure what to do, my mentor gave me some advice. What she said encouraged me so much. I hope that this post is an encouragement to you too, and that it reminds you that you’re not alone.

When was the last time you wished something about your writing life was like someone else’s? Maybe you thought that they were a better writer because they finished more projects. Or a friend’s success with platform building seemed unfair.

Comparison can be a hard thing to move past, yet it’s possible. It won’t be easy, but there are a few things you can do to lessen its sting.

“So,” you may be wondering, “how can I make sure that comparison doesn’t affect me? What would other people thing if they knew how often I wished I was like someone else?” Ahh, but friend, you’re not alone. That’s the first thing. Know that you’re not the only one dealing with it. Comparison affects everyone at some point in their life. So, on those days when you feel guilty for letting comparison in, please don’t. All of your friends know what comparison feels like. Don’t be afraid to talk to them.

The second thing is this: realize that comparison is going to come. When your WIP is sailing along nicely, your platform is growing, and you have dozens of new ideas, comparison may seem miles away. I’ve noticed that when I’m excited about what I’m working on, and everything is going according to plan, comparison doesn’t come around as much. It’s when I’ve hit writer’s block or things are messed up that it hits. And do you know why that is? It’s because comparison is very similar to discontentment. Doesn’t sound very nice, does it? Yet it’s true. When we begin looking at other people’s writing, ideas, style, etc., and wishing that we could write that fast, that we’d come up with that fabulous story idea, what we’re really doing is being discontent with where we are and where God has put us.

Not everyone has the same writing journey. Some can write a great first draft, others do really well at finishing what they start. You have your own special talent and writing journey. Maybe your characters feel so real, readers cry and laugh along with them. Perhaps you’ve mastered the art of writing a first draft quickly. Instead of wishing you were like another writer, thank God for the gift He’s given you and the talents you have.

One more weapon you have against comparison is prayer. This should really be the first thing you do when comparison creeps or storms in. Go to God, the One who knows all your fears and struggles. Talk to Him. Ask Him to help you rejoice in the stage you’re at, and not be so quick to compare yourself to others.

Comparison is hard, I know. But if you take anything away from reading this post, I pray it’s this: you are a unique writer, with a journey like no other. In something I shared with a group of writing friends, I suggested that writing is like snowflakes:

Today, it snowed where I live. Watching out the window at the snowflakes swirling around made me think of something. Every single snowflake is different. There will never be two snowflakes that are the same. The same is true for our writing journeys. Yours, mine, your friends who write. . . every single person will reach different milestones at different times, figure out platform in their own way, and have different ways of combating writer’s block and procrastination.

So, embrace your journey. Don’t endlessly compare where you are with others, that only takes away the joy. Have fun, learn at your own pace, and write the stories you love, in your own way. Be the writer God created you to be.


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