First draft: never compare

Your eyes read over the words in front of you. They are clever, catchy, and well thought out. You get to the end, and see that the article has been shared a hundred times over. You think to yourself, how did they do this? Where did they acquire these capabilities? You flip back a few screens to your own writing – compared to what you just read, yours seems dead – lifeless. You look at your website, and you have maybe ten shares on your best post – the post you poured your heart and soul into.photo-1

You’re discouraged, and you want to throw in the towel.

Don’t give up just yet.

I know how easy it is to look at articles like that and get discouraged, because all we see is their success – the result of all their hard work. We don’t see how long it took for that person to write that article. We don’t know how long they’ve been writing before getting that opportunity. They could have been a writer for years, with little to no success, and this is their first big break. We can’t assume they are just simply awesome and it took them little to no effort to get where they are. A musician doesn’t become one by picking up a guitar…they become one by practice, lessons, youtube videos, tryouts, rejections…

It’s not so different for a writer. It takes time to develop any skill or craft. It takes trial and error. It takes research, advice, and constructive criticism. If writing is something you love, allow yourself to be in process.

With the ease of internet, there are a plethora of bloggers, just like there are a plethora of singers wanting to make it big through YouTube. But, that doesn’t lessen your chance. If you are willing to learn, take risks, and practice, nothing is holding you back. You have a unique outlook on life. Your perspective, opinion, and voice are all important and could change someone’s life someday.

So, when you are tempted to compare yourself to other writers, take that step back, look at your own journey, and fight – just as they’ve had to fight for where they are at. Be encouraged and inspired! They fought. They’re making it. You can too.

“we write every day, we fight every day, we think and scheme and dream a little dream every day. manuscripts pile up in the kitchen sink, run-on sentences dangle around our necks. we plant purple prose in our gardens and snip the adverbs only to thread them in our hair. we write with no guarantees, no certainties, no promises of what might come and we do it anyway.
this is who we are.”
― Tahereh Mafi

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