Why Comparing Yourself To Others Is Pointless

By on April 24, 2018
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It’s so easy for writers to get caught up in comparing themselves to others. They read something that is so good they feel it’s impossible for them to reach the same standard. They hear of some previously unpublished author landing a six-figure book publishing deal and wonder if it will ever be them. They hear about that writer who self-published and their book took off and made millions and feel hopeless and jealous and wonder if they should even bother trying.

Comparing oneself to others is never a good idea, it’s unlikely to make you feel good about your writing. You are your own worst critic after all, and you aren’t likely to be able to rationally or objectively reason as to why so and so happened to that writer and it hasn’t happened for you.

Here’s why comparing yourself to others is pointless:

It won’t make you any better.

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By all means, read as many brilliant books as you can get your hands on, but don’t finish that book and immediately burn your own manuscript in a fit of despair. Comparing yourself negatively to writers you love won’t make your writing any better. Instead, why not be inspired and influenced by them and just appreciate how much you enjoyed their work?

There’s no comparison between your final draft and a traditionally published novel.

Even if you have done all the right things, your final draft isn’t going to hold a candle to traditionally published books you find in a bookstore. Those books have had teams of professional people to edit, rewrite, shape, design and market them before they even hit the shelves. Your Word Document that you’ve read so many times your eyes bled just isn’t going to look very good in comparison, so don’t bother. It’s not fair to you or your work.

Your voice is entirely unique, and so it should be.

The beautiful thing about being a writer is that you have your own unique writing voice, your own particular way of looking at the world and expressing what you want to say. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Your book may not sound anything like that bestseller, but so what? That doesn’t mean it is not brilliant in its own right.

No one likes a copycat.

Next time you compare yourself to other writers, ask yourself this: What are you going to do about it? Either you can try and imitate them, or you can just accept that every writer is different and has their own story to tell and way of telling it. If you try to do the former, you’ll end up just being a slightly worse version of someone else. Who wants to be that?

You only see their result, not their struggle

No matter how easily fame and fortune seem to come to others, the likelihood is that there was a lot of hard graft going on behind the scenes before they got to where they are. Sure there might be a lucky few for which success seems to land on their lap, but for the masses, it’s all about keeping your nose to the grindstone, so stop comparing yourself to others and get back to it.

It’s not your time…yet

If you find yourself getting disheartened to remember, your time could be right around the corner, but the only person that can make it happen is you. When it comes to writing you have to be your own biggest fan, so stop telling yourself you aren’t any good when compared to other writers, tell yourself you're just as good, or even better!

When it comes to writing the best thing to do is to focus on yourself, set your own goals and celebrate your successes. Comparing yourself to others will only distract you from what you need to do so don’t let what other people are doing get you off track, just keep concentrating on what you want - you’ll get there in the end.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

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