Happy Halloween! Hard to believe tomorrow is November 1. Wasn’t it just March?
As I continue the series on building confidence, I’ve inspired myself to sign up for National Novel Writing Month this year (as I generally do) AND I have a story idea and time set aside to write.
It’s great to be an inspiration to others, but it’s fantastic to inspire ourselves. And that’s today’s tip — don’t compare yourself to others.
It’s fine to use other writers as role models. If you find someone’s writing that strikes you as honest and what you are striving for in your own goals, sure, you want to learn from them.
You always want to improve as a writer, so seeing what works for others helps you progress in your own career.
This tip is more about avoiding the extreme of needing to be “as good as” so-and-so. Or getting frustrated if your writing career isn’t following the same trajectory as your favorite author.
It’s also about that inner critic that comes out when you’re in compare mode and you receive a compliment.
- Example: “Lisa, I enjoyed reading that piece published in The Best Magazine Ever.”
- “Thank you, (stop here and enjoy the compliment) but I had to rewrite it 57 times (inner critic).”
- “Thank you, (stop here and enjoy the compliment), but Sally Jones had 3 articles printed just last month (inner critic).”
- “Thank you, (stop here and enjoy the compliment), but I’ve been trying for 6 years to get in that magazine. Lady Next Door got her first submission published – and she never took a writing course in her life (inner critic)!”
It doesn’t matter if Joe Jellybean submits a first draft that’s published the next day. It doesn’t matter that Patricia Pumpkin lands a 3-book contract from a 60-second pitch to someone she hadn’t even realized was The Publisher of All Publishers.
We are each unique and bring different qualities to our writing. We each have a difference ‘voice.’ Embrace your style. Work at your craft in the way that feels right to you. Set your goals and work toward them. Write ‘as if’ you’re published in The Best Magazine Ever or have landed a 3-book contract.
You’ve got this – believe that and be proud of your efforts and celebrate every accomplishment along the way.
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.