Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In the Comparison

This is one thing I’ve learned: I shouldn’t compare myself to other writers -- there’s no point. Every writer has to walk, skip, run their own journey and no journey is the same.

Some writers have to write five novels until they get published, some fifteen, twenty, thirty, while others only have to write one.

Some writers have a flowery style, while others have a simple style.

Some have a strength in grammar and structure. Others, their strength lies in point of view.

Every writer has to write their own stories. We can’t copy the work of another and we can’t pretend to be someone else. We write our best when we are true to ourselves.

As we saw in my previous post, every writer measures success from a different scale, so why compare ourselves to someone else’s scale?

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Note: this will be my last post for the week. I need to focus on some ornery chapters. I’ll still visit everyone around the blogsphere and I’ll be back on Monday with a new post.

67 comments:

  1. Absolutely! Even though it's normal and understandable to try to compare, it's pointless to do so, because in a lot of cases it's comparing apples to oranges. Our own style can be way diff from a published writer's or even another unpublished writer. It doesn't matter--luckily there are as many diff reading tastes as there are writing styles!

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  2. Thank you for this post. It's easy to see what others are doing and forget you walk your own path.

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  3. You stated it simply yet brilliantly. We all have talents that are unique to each of us. We must learn what they are and use them. It's hard, sometimes, to quiet the noise of others' journeys (successes and/or failures), but we must. I struggle too with this. Just have to keep moving forward.

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  4. yep, this is absolutely true, people, not just writers, should never compare themselves with other, we should always be as unique as possible!

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  5. This is so true. I'm currently working on novel number __, and it can be disheartening to read about others who are published with their first novel. I just keep telling myself, "That's their journey. This is yours." Thanks for the reminder!

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  6. Very true, indeed! Every writer's journey is different and unique, and we really don't know what's on the path ahead of us or what's around the next corner.

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  7. I couldn't agree more!! Your writing voice is unique, rare and above all yours and no-one else's!!!

    Have a great writing rest of the week!! See you soon!! take care
    x

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  8. Your post brings the words of the Desiderata to mind.

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  9. Great point. I know a few writers I wish I could write like and I think I've modeled myself after a number of them, combining them into something I hope is unique to me.

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  10. So very true.
    But then how do you stop yourself from comparing. The other day I had someone that was considered the most successful critic in the UK talking about how he wished he could write like someone else.
    Strange world.
    I do it too, though.
    Nahno ∗ McLein

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  11. Simple but true! Good luck with those ornery chapters.

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  12. So very true. It's hard not to compare one's self to other writers, especially the successful ones, but it really is a huge disservice to yourself. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all learn from one another.

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  13. Carol, yes, it's awesome there are so many different reading tastes as there are writing styles.

    Cherie, exactly

    Salarsen, moving forward is the key I think :)

    Dezzy, yes, it goes for everything. It's the uniqueness that we like the most in each other.

    Jess, yup, that's what I tell myself too. It would have been bad if my first novel got published ;)

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  14. Dianne, exactly

    Old Kitty, thanks so much :)

    J L Campbell, I had to look up Desiderata. Thanks :)

    Susan, yep, it's that uniqueness that's key

    Nahno, comparing is inevitable. We just shouldn't get disheartened.

    Lisa, thanks

    Lori, exactly :)

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  15. This is so true! Thank you for the reminder. It's so easy to look at someone else's success/work and wonder how you measure up.

    Don't do it! It's a ticket to crazytown.

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  16. Don't we always need to hear this? I know it's just what I needed today. Thank you, and good luck with those chapters!

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  17. You're so right about this. Comparing myself to others only brings me down.

    Good luck with those ornery chapters!

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  18. This is so true! Everyone's journey is different, and comparison means nothing in these cases :)

    Good luck with your chapters and we'll see you next Monday!

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  19. This is absolutely true. Everyone has different styles, different genres, their way of telling stories is peculiar to them, and everyone moulds their characters according to the demands of the story. If we compare ourselves with other writers, or copy them, we will be doing injustice to ourselves.

    Regarding your previous post, success is different things to different people. But deep down all of us crave those things you mentioned.

    Good luck with your chapters.

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  20. This is so true- I was just thinking the other day about all the paths a writer's journey can take. Like all the stories out there, the possibilities are endless.

    I like to think that my journey is exactly what I need- it's definitely attempted to teach me patience!

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  21. We're all different. That's what's so beautiful about the world.

    Jai

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  22. yes agree.. great post... we are all different and unique
    xx

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  23. And every reader will approach your writing with a different take.
    That is what makes reading and writing so good is all the different perspectives.

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  24. Very true!

    Good luck with those tricksy chapters. :-)

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  25. True true true!! I finally learned that last year I think. I'm on my fifth novel, don't know how many more I will have to write to get it right:)) But I will. We all learn at different speeds.

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  26. Hi Linda!
    THanks for dropping by my blog and being a new follower. I added myself on your followers list as well. I'm so glad I did as I love your blog's content--and the pictures! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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  27. So right! Nothing good comes of comparison. We have to appreciate our individuality.

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  28. Kari, I have a few extra tickets to crazytown if you're interested ;)

    Karen, thanks

    Susan, thanks

    WritingNut, thanks and have a great weekend

    Rachna, hehe, so true. I'd love to reach the top of the list however unlikely that is ;)

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  29. Stephanie, haha, yes! Patience is something I'm learning through writing as well.

    Jai, exactly

    Michelle, thanks

    Al, I love when a reader has a different take on my stories -- especially when it's something I hadn't expected.

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  30. Misha, thanks. I think I need that luck ;)

    Terri, exactly

    Nutschell, welcome! Glad you like.

    Alexia, that's it exactly: appreciate our individuality :)

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  31. I think it's a great post. I agree that we shouldn't compare ourselves to other. I do it on occasion.

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  32. I agree. If everyone wrote the same, it'd be a boring world.

    One of my local Crit Partners seems to be under the delusion getting published is easy. She hasn't submitted yet though and doesn't want to hear she's mistaken.

    We have to find our own voices and our own paths. Mostly, we must keep in mind how much we love writing.

    Good luck with your ornery chapters. :)

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  33. I decided right away I couldn't compare myself to others. It would only frustrate me, as I know I wouldn't measure up to so many. So I'll just be happy being me.

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  34. Here I am, a new follower and I loved your post re comparisons...sometimes we can't help ourselves comparing even we know its not healthy to compare!

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  35. "This is one thing I’ve learned: I shouldn’t compare myself to other writers -- there’s no point. Every writer has to walk, skip, run their own journey and no journey is the same."

    So true!! This is one of the best posts I have stumbled upon, as it states exactly what I need to keep in mind. Comparing yourself to someone else is a deadly trap because nobody can measure up to anyone else. Ironically enough, I have been stuck in this trap a lot this week, so thank you!!!

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  36. Best of luck on your slugging away on your chapters. Be strong, drink lots of good black tea. Thank you for rejoicing with me re: the iPod. Susan

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  37. Great post! You are so right. Good luck on ironing out those chapters...

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  39. great that you brought it up and that's absolutely TRUE!!!,

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  40. Yeah, I don't like comparing myself to other writers either. I like to think I'm SPESHAL. :D Especially in the way I spell "speshal" hehe

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  41. M Pax, where on earth did that crit partner get the idea that getting published was easy? lol

    Alex, it's a good plan

    Nas, so true. And welcome!

    Paul, glad it helped :)

    Charmaine, thanks

    Susan, hehe plain ole water is my current beverage of choice ;)

    Sharon, thanks

    Fire, hehe it seems many writers can relate :)

    Trisha, speshal is super special, and I'd have to agree.

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  42. Hey Lynda,
    Hope your chapters are going well! Thanks for dropping by, I really did have great fun at the race.

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  43. You have to be careful. When I read something that blows me away I always doubt myself. Then I read something I've written and tell myself it's just as good, it's just different. Never try to me someone else - it's a sure way to 'bad'.

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  44. I couldn't agree more, and quite often I find myself making comparisons like that and have to stop. It's gotten better and hopefully I'll get to a point where I just won't do it anymore. It's a part of human nature, at least in most humans I've met, lol, but something I'm working on weeding out of my writerly makeup.

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  45. Nutschell, Thanks and yes, I'm getting there :)

    Wendy, I do the same

    Tangynt, yes definitely it's part of that pesky human nature.

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  46. ACK! While I know what you say is TRUE ... I still want to be the writer with an agent and a traditionally published book.
    *sigh*

    I will keep at it!

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  47. argh. Good luck w/the ornery chapters. Hate that. But you're right. We all have different journeys~ :o) <3

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  48. It is easy to forget this sometimes. Thanks for this reminder. Great post!

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  49. Margo, for sure. It's good to have goals :)

    LTM, thanks. I'm still struggling, but getting there.

    Kerri, thanks

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  50. That is why I don't like V.C. Andrews Ghost writer very much. They don't have the same style...

    -Gen

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  51. Hey Lynda! Stop by today - you are a Friend for the Journey.

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  52. These are such wise words. The only person we should compare ourselves to is...well, ourselves. As in, am I doing the best I can do? If not, I need to work harder.

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  53. SOOOO true. I actually had to get out of my writer's group because I was feeling so much stress over the fact that one by one everyone else was getting published and I was being left behind. That was a while ago and I ended up realizing that writing category romance wasn't for me, so comparing myself to them was crazy in the first place.

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  54. i hopped on over from Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog. your post is so true. i look forward to more.

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  55. So tempting to compare. Must resist temptation. Excellent post.

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  56. ABSOLUTELY. The point is that you get a story out that's compelling and individually you.

    Speaking of whom, I'm giving you this award, because you deserve it!
    http://crystalcollier.blogspot.com/2011/03/award-awards-awards.html

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  57. You are SO right! But, this is sometimes really HARD to do. I too often fall into that I-just-don't-measure-up mode. It's a bad habit I need to kick. And I will. I just need to appreciate my uniqueness and focus. Great post, Lynda. Thank you!

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  58. So so true...and something I find so hard to do is comparing myself with other writers and being convinced I am not half as good...

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  59. I love this idea. I also believe that if you don't believe in yourself, then no one else will either.

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  60. This was a wonderful post, Lynda, and so true. Your previous post was awesome. Just realised how long since I've been over!

    I hope your hiatus goes well and you whip those chapters into shape.

    Denise<3

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  61. I was superdooper busy on the weekend. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do...

    Gen, that's why ghost writers who take over generally aren't as successful. The style changes no matter how hard they try to be the original writer.

    Alex, you are a doll! (a manly doll, of course)

    Liza, great question to ask self.

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  62. Stephanie, yep, it's hard watching everyone else "succeed". It's good you made changes that work for you.

    Michelle, hi! and welcome :)

    Deborah, thanks

    Cheesy, thanks so much for the award

    Donea, it is a habit that needs kicking. Not always easy, but worth doing.

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  63. Caterpillar, hope it helped

    Regina, so true

    L'Aussie, thanks so much. These last two chapters have taken up the most time of any other section of the book. Rawr! ;)

    Kathryn, hehe

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  64. This is one of the most encouraging posts on writing I've ever read. Thanks, from a fledgling novelist.

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