Comparison is the Death of Joy
Mark Twain once said that comparison was the death of joy. And how true is that? Once you compare yourself to someone else, doesn't it take the joy away from what you're doing? Even when I first started writing, I remember this girl who had a similar type of blog to mine. She got discovered by The New York Times and then became one of the best selling authors shortly after that. A big publishing house gave her a book deal and she just skyrocketed from there. I read her blog, I bought her book and thought, "Why not me?" Yep, I was once there too. I couldn't understand how someone could write 'everyday mundane happenings' about their life and then jot it all onto a blog. It was a self-serving, self-indulgent type of blog...and so was her book. She had a life like mine, but she was straight. And while I write about my own life, it's in hopes that it'll help another person reading it. I find the best writers are the ones who write about themselves, and at the same time, they help others through their own experiences. I just sat there reading her stuff thinking, "This isn't helping anyone!" Yet, people still bought her book and other novelties that went along with it for extra sales. Amazing.
“Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. 'I will not Reason and Compare,' said Blake; 'my business is to Create.' Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable. ” ―Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
I slowly drifted out of the blogosphere community and started being more independent -- not reliant on the community so much and stepping into my own uniqueness with raw and uncut literature from my heart and soul. I can't speak for everyone, but I felt something lacking as a "blogger" -- I felt like everybody was trying to compete with one another. Granted I still have my favorite bloggers who I read all the time, but for the most part, it seemed as though "blogging" itself sort of died out. I would hear things from talented bloggers like, "How did 'so & so' get a book deal?" You're talking about -- let's say a philosophical writer comparing themselves to a children's book author. You. cannot. compete. The genre is just not the same! It caters to an entirely different audience. I learned about 'targeted audiences' and writers' tips on what your readers want. And I still have trouble at times. But the one thing I did stop was comparing myself to other writers. Instead, when I see a successful writer (someone in my own genre), I like to just read and learn from them, maybe even get a few tips and go from there. It doesn't have to be a game of "whose writing is better" -- it has everything to do with what you love to do: write. So, stop the madness and be who you are without the bullshit. Otherwise you will never get to truly enjoy what you do.
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