Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG and A Lesson Learned

First Wednesday of the month brings your chance to share good news, spit fire on an issue, or commiserate with other writers who can understand your pain, genuinely congratulate you on your good thing, and be a support system that is rare to find.
First Wednesday of the month is...
IWSG

Each month, there is a question you can answer. To check out what others are sharing, click here and hop along to other blogs.
So, about that question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

There are so many lessons to learn on this journey called #writinglife. But one lesson that took some time, pain, emotional discomfort, and disappointment to learn is that comparisons can be the death of your writing career, if you let them.

We've all done this comparison thing a time or two...or twenty.
Comparing our books to other books of similarity.
Comparing our sales to other authors.
Comparing our writing style to other authors.
Comparing our writing journey to other authors.

It isn't that comparisons are bad. It's actually quite nice to compare and find similar characteristics in your own book that can be found in commercially successful novels. Being told that your writing style is enjoyable and that you capture the voice of the main character like such-an-such successful author is flattering. It can be helpful to see where you stand in order to set attainable goals.

But when you get wrapped up and tangled up in the comparisons, it's easy to lose focus, to lose your way because you're so lost in comparing your everything to all else occupying the world. Writing loses its fanatical hold on you. Perfection is an impossible finish line you struggle to reach. Your writing journey is no longer yours since you've given it over to the obsession of comparisons.

So what do you do?

Well, what I've done is take a step back when I realize that I'm caught in comparing my work or my journey to others instead of letting my characters speak through me. I give myself permission to know it's okay for me to be me. I'm not meant to be the next J.K. Rowling. I'm not meant to be the next anybody else.

I am meant to be my best ME.

How do you deal with comparisons of your writing, sales, and your journey to others?