Social media and the Internet as a whole has made it easier than ever to stay connected. Which makes comparing yourself to others that much easier.
It can result in jealous or envy, both of which are so unbecoming. Emotions that tend to do more harm than good. Whatever happened to feeling inspired and motivated to do better?
I don’t want to feel insecure or unconfident about where I am in my creative journey whenever I look at other’s work.
While I like to think I’ve gotten better at not comparing my art to others, I still do.
I think to myself I’ll never be good enough. I can’t possible write a good novel, much less a bestseller. I won’t ever get 100,000 followers, much less 10,000. Not that numbers are everything.
When I look at successful individuals and what they’re doing, I wonder if their accomplishments are impossible for me.
I’m just a normal human being. I’m not special. I’m not an expert. I am myself. Although sometimes I pretend to be someone I’m not because I think society wants me to act a certain way. That’s a whole other story.
I also have a tendency to compare myself to people double or triple my age with more education and experience. That’s not fair to anyone, least of all myself.
I’m an overachiever when I want to be. Even when I try to downplay a skill or an achievement, a part of me still wants to be the best.
As much as I like beating others, I want to beat my best. Beat records I’ve set. Do more but also do better.
I don’t want to get complacent with writing or blogging or any other creative pursuit.
I like the idea of pushing my body and mind, testing my perceived limits.
Sometimes I compare because I want a concrete benchmark. In the past, I wasn’t sure what my goals were as a writer except to publish a book one day. I still don’t know what I want or what I’m doing, by the way.
Even though I’m not sure I’ll ever stop comparing my work to someone else’s, I will try to put things into perspective, so I can focus on what matters most—my craft.
Let’s be honest, my craft needs a lot of work.
So the takeaway here is don’t compare. Don’t do it.
Well, try not to at least.
Focus on yourself and on the work you’re doing.
Also, stop comparing your first draft to someone else’s final draft. Don’t start either.
You rarely see other people’s rough work. Instead, you see their finished masterpiece.