When you find yourself in the novice category of writing, you can’t help but compare yourself to other author’s skills and abilities. In my opinion, doing this will hold you back. It did me. My dream: To write a book and publish it. But wait a minute, all the books I read are so above what I can accomplish. There’s no way I can meet the standards of the publishing world. I got way ahead of myself before even starting. The comparison to highly published authors was blocking the simple act of writing. I expected myself to spit out a novel like it was second nature. Yeah right. As my mom and dad used to say when I was a rambunctious child , “Hold your horses, young lady”. I knew what it meant then, but it rings even more clearly now.
I think of the authors that put out two, three, and maybe four novels a year. Why would I even try to compare myself to them? It’s so silly to go there, but in my own head, I do. Honestly, I don’t have the skills to do that, but do I really want to? That doesn’t sound fun to me. It seems like mass-publishing and that’s not my dream. My dream: To write A book and publish it. I’ve come to realize that to be an author you don’t have to be “big” or mass produce, you just have to write. Period.
Comparing while I read is one of the most distracting obstacles I deal with. Most people can read a book and get taken off to another world. For me, that only happens half way. I absolutely love getting lost in a good book, but it’s changed since I’ve started writing a book. I should be able to read a book by the pool, or on the boat without constantly comparing what I’m currently writing and how I’m writing it to what I’m presently reading. I wonder if that’s natural for most writers? Sometimes it’s hard to switch off the writer in order to read. The one way I look at is, it’s all about learning. Reading others will help me improve myself. I can’t be intimidated by the wonderful works of others. I have to be confident enough to allow them to inspire me.
So maybe there is a good balance in comparing. Compare enough to learn, but never too much to destroy the love of writing.
Until next time….