Finding the Words

a blog devoted to the art, craft, and frustration of writing

paling in comparison February 27, 2007

Filed under: insecurities — itsy @ 10:55 pm

I do this to myself all the time. I read about successful authors. I berate myself for not being one of them. And then I just get depressed, and I write nothing. After talking myself out of throwing my lap top onto the ground (it’s pretty sad already – missing keys and all – but it’s all i can afford right now) I scurry off to my room, duck under the covers, and press my eyes closed, waiting for the bogey to go away.

Eventually I come around. Eventually, I remind myself of all the reasons I want to be a writer, which really have nothing to do with getting published.

The thing about fiction is that you can’t compare yourself to any one. Sure, Christopher Paonini might be 18 (19?) and already has signed deals with major movie companies, and everyone absolutely seems to adore George RR Martin, but the problem is, you can’t write like they do. You can only write like you do, and you can only do it as well as you can. It might not seem very comforting, but it is. Only you have that unique voice inside of you. It’s up to you to figure out how to get it out.

See? I feel better already.

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4 Responses to “paling in comparison”

  1. davidbdale Says:

    The best remedy I know for the blues is typing. Just mindless typing eventually turns to something more and, before I know it, I’m writing again and all seems, if not right, at least less blue.

    Good to see caveblogem on your list. I’ll have to check out the write point myself. Don’t think I’m familiar.

    Thanks for the link!

  2. caveblogem Says:

    “You can’t compare yourself to anyone” Wise words. And true in other aspects of life, too. And just as difficult in practice.

    I started writing fiction in November, with NaNoWriMo, and am mostly having a good time. I started by entering contests online. And I’m beginning to think that that is not such a good strategy anymore, for the reason you point to in your post. With these online contests I compare my writing to that of others. When I think mine’s better, I feel bad, because I didn’t win. When I think mine is not as good, I feel worse, because my writing is worse. No win there.

    I like the look of your blog, with the printing on a white background for easy reading. And a darker background behind that, which means you don’t dry out peoples’ eyes with so many photons.

  3. deano Says:

    A corollary: you can’t pick your audience.
    Interesting observations here. I’ll enjoy reading more.

  4. Diana Says:

    I know how you feel. Most writers are tiny fish in a huge pond, and it’s hard to get noticed at all.

    Anyway, Christopher Paolini’s book was first published by his parents. If it hadn’t been for that, he might never have gotten published at all. Lucky break for him. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s better that the rest of us without such connections.


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