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January 27, 2014 / Angela Sylvia

Don’t You Ever Compare Yourself

Don’t you ever, ever compare yourself to writers who have come before. And certainly, under no circumstances, weigh yourself, your output, against those coming along right now.

Never hunt down the number of rejections to see if you can subtract from your own.

Do not look up birth years, and date of first publication, don’t do the math to see how old they were when they stumbled on a first success. Because while sometimes it’s a good sign, many other times you realize you are quickly losing ground, or worse, are behind, so far behind, and you will never catch up.

Don’t think you aren’t as good.

Don’t wish you had tried harder, before, back when you were in that muddy rut, because regret is a paralytic, and it’s dumb.

Don’t be afraid to vent to your writing friends.

Don’t worry that others are beating you, and don’t lose faith that you will get there. You will get there, because you want to, because you have to.

When you go against the rest of your advice, don’t forget that the people you insist on comparing yourself to also panicked, also believed there was no hope, fretted (still fret) that they wouldn’t make it, that they won’t stay. They did it. So can you.

Don’t forget that this will take some time. Don’t forget that is okay.

Don’t stop writing for a day.

Don’t forget how much you love this.

Writing Pen

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