Wow, it’s been awhile since the Wordbitches have been here. But rest assured, we’re still here. I know…you were worried.
But, it’s the new year, and we’re back, baby!
Speaking of the new year, have you set your writing goals for 2013? I did this year, but it took awhile for me to get there. Ultimately, it was a good exercise and I do believe that sharing goals with trusted people can really help keep us accountable. But there’s a wee bit of a risk when you share goals…comparison.
I know that comparing yourself with someone else is human nature, especially if that person is doing something similar to you, like writing. And it can often be really motivating. For example, looking at a friend who’s flying up the Amazon ranking charts and selling thousands of books a day can make you step back and say, “If she can do it, I can do it!”
But—you had to know there was a but—it can also be really dangerous to compare yourself to other writers. Take that same example, instead of looking at that friend and using it for inspiration, I could look at her and then look at myself and deem myself as unsuccessful and a total failure.
I could do this, and full disclosure, I have done this. Yup, comparison can be very demoralizing.
There have been times I’ve looked at my super successful writing friends and literally thought, “Wow, I suck. I should be doing that…I should be selling that many…I should be writing more.”
Should. Should. Should.
And I know, I know! I shouldn’t do that. It’s not healthy to talk to myself that way…blah…blah..blah. I know! I do. Really.
But sometimes even when you know something logically, it doesn’t help emotionally. I actually shied away from setting and sharing goals this year because I was afraid of dreaming too big. Dumb, right?
It actually took a friend of mine (herself a crazy awesome successful writer) to stage a mini intervention via text message over the Christmas holidays.
At one point, she out and out asked me, “Do you think you’re successful?”An easy question, right?
It should have been.
But the truth is, it took me a few minutes to answer. But when I did, this was my reply, “Well…yes. But not as successful as I want to be.”
And that’s as honest an answer as I could come up with. We continued to text back and forth and I walked away from that mini text therapy session feeling better. But also, it helped me to realize that I must stop comparing myself to others. I need to use others as inspiration but ultimately judge and define my own success based on me and me alone. (The definition of success is a whole different topic.)
But I am successful in this whole crazy writing world. But do I have room to grow? Hell, yeah I do. And that’s what I’m going to focus on. My own growth as a writer. I can and will support each of my friends in their own journeys. But to compare is crazy. So no comparison. Only inspiration.
And I think that’s all any of us can do. Support, motivate, but be accountable to ourselves and however we define success.
So, my wish for 2013 to all my writing peeps out there is to go out and write. Write what makes your heart sing. Write your passion. And ultimately, find your own success in that.
In the comments feel free to share goals, your own stories of comparison, or just say, “Hey Wordbitches, Happy New Year!”