I’ll tell you something that really gets me down when I am thinking about writing. And that is when I am comparing myself to other authors. It always makes me feel so insignificant. In fact, I actually quit writing for a while because I was just totally convinced that my writing did not even compare to other authors. Now that was just DUMB.
Focusing on writing well is a wonderful thing, but it is extremely difficult not to pick up a well-written novel and end up sad and depressed because you think that your novel will NEVER be as good as that. Don’t do this to yourself.
Here’s some things to remember:
1) Everybody writes differently.
Some authors are better at describing their character’s emotions while others are better at describing action scenes and building suspense. The thing about writing is that we need to play to our strongest skill set and work on our weaker aspects of the craft. Writing takes dedication, so we need to remember to not get discouraged when we have trouble with things. Remember that all experienced authors were once amateurs. They got to where they are because they worked hard and learned. And they are still learning.
2) You have probably read your novel like a hundred times so of course it might sound boring to you.
Don’t get down on yourself because you think that someone else’s novel is more exciting then yours. Keep in mind that you are reading it for the first time and not the tenth. While your novel may seem predictable to you, it will be a totally different experience for your readers.
3) “The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.” -David B. Schlosser
4) Comparing yourself to other writer’s isn’t normally helpful.
If anything, comparing ourselves to other writers can hurt our self-esteem and that sucks.
5) You are your own writer.
While it is awesome to be influenced by other writers and books, we need to remember that we are not them. NO one else has the writing capabilities that you do. You are unique. So sure, improvements to your writing craft can always be made, but don’t forcefully bend your writing style to match your favorite authors. Own your own writing style.
6) You get better every time that you write.
So keep at it. Keep writing. You improve every time that you pick up a pen (or sit at a keyboard) and write. If you want evidence of this, look at some of your older stories. Do you see the difference?
Hope you enjoyed.
Do you struggle with comparing your writing to others? How do you keep from comparing yourself to others?