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Never Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your week! Mine’s been pretty good… Ready for Friday!

So, I recently had the opportunity to go to a cool day-long conference for my day job. It was an eye-opening experience and I actually learned a lot about myself and where I want to be in my life. There were some amazing speakers at this conference. One in particular said something that completely resonated with me and I haven’t forgotten it since. Jon Acuff, radio personality and speaker, said, “Never Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle.”

WHOA. Right?

Honestly, it should be so obvious NOT to do that. There’s no comparison. But we do it. I do it. I dare to say every writer at some point has done just THAT. You know when you’re reading a book and you think… damn, I’m never going to be that good, or I’m never going to get that type of exposure. Whose butt did they have to kiss? Yes, yes. I know it’s all about hard work, luck, and timing and like fifty-million other things, these are only examples ;o)

The thing is… we don’t know everyone’s story. When it comes to publication, some of the most well-known, successful authors have been writing for years and years, and yet many of us feel compelled to compare our first year, or second year of publishing to theirs.

Uh, what you say? Doesn’t make sense, right?

I’ve done this. You probably have.

I think it’s time to turn the coin (is that a phrase? Did I make that up? Oh! FLIP. Flip the coin. Never mind I’m leaving it.) and think in a positive way instead.

Let’s say we see an accomplished writer and we do compare ourselves (you know we’re going to do it) well, it doesn’t have to be BAD. What about… Hey, look, I have a chapter written like hers/his. I have a similar voice. Or even just thinking to yourself, I hope I’m that good someday. Or even better, I WILL be that good someday.

YES. Positive Affirmations FTW

I’m not sure that makes sense, but if we start to train ourselves to think about it before comparing, I think it could help those little devils whispering inside us that we’re not good enough. It doesn’t matter where in the process you are, there is always going to be someone who is further along than you. So, why do we need to compare ourselves, knowing this?

It’s just natural. AND it’s not going to stop. You can’t just tell yourself not to. Sure, that works… But we can be cognizant of how we let this comparison affect us. THAT we have control over. I’m probably just re-hashing something we already know, so let this serve as a little reminder to be nice to yourself today ;o)

So, what do you think?

Have a great rest of the week!

Rock on,
Er

7 Responses to “Never Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle”

  1. This was a very timely post and much appreciated. I’m having a very down-in-the-dumps day with respect to my writing and where it’s going. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  2. Suzi says:

    Great advice. You’re so right that we usually don’t know the whole story behind someone else’s journey. There is the rare person that gets it all on the first try, but most everybody else has to work at it. And we only see the end result.

  3. Dude, stop making us think. JK-ing. Great post, really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? 😉

  4. Great advice! I always feel a little depressed when I read George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” books because I think there’s no way I could ever weave so many different characters and plotlines like he does, but you’re totally right – thinking about it positively is much more productive. Maybe 30 years from now I’ll be doing the same thing…maybe. 😉 Thanks for the positive post!

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