Tuesday, May 20, 2014

John Maxwell on Who To Compare Yourself To


Today's inspiration comes from John Maxwell and his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth:


How much time have I wasted wishing I were more like another writer? Not only have I squandered energy envying their talent, but also their success or productivity.

Doing that won't produce anything more than a crummy attitude. To have a shot at writing great books, my focus needs to be on nurturing the stories and voice that I've been gifted with, and doing my best with the time and talent I have.

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to other writers? Have you found ways to keep yourself from doing that? If so, we'd love to hear how!

14 comments:

  1. I do struggle with this. I compare myself in the sense that I "can't" write a full-length novel.

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    1. Maybe not yet, but I'm sure you will if you keep at it. That was an area I really had to grow in too.

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    2. You had a problem writing as many words as a novel? I didn't know that.

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    3. Oh, I totally did! Even the first draft of The Revised Life of Ellie clocked in at 45k. You'll naturally get better at it as you keep writing, but learning about story structure made a big difference for me as well.

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    4. Yay! I'm not the only one! I also tend to get impatient...

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    5. I have the most problem with actually understanding my characters. I have realized that when you write novels... you aren't just writing stuff, you are creating a whole new world, and the characters come with it.

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  2. I compare my stories to my favorite books, but I'm learning to accept that I cannot do this because what I have read is a finished book and what I have is no where near the finish line.

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    1. Me too with the Ender series... :/

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    3. I really compare myself to the Divergent Trilogy. Even though what I write is really not similar at all.

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    4. Lol, yeah... the divergent series was good. :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing this quote today! I definitely struggle with comparing myself to others. I have been trying to write the same novel for three years. I like the idea too much to let it go, but no matter what I do, I can't seem to get it right. It's frustrating that I can't write this one seemingly simple story when others manage to get at least a first draft written in less time. I haven't figured out a way past this, but it's encouraging to know that others struggle with it too :)

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  4. I struggle with this too, especially with fantasy books like what I write. Characters and finishing a first draft are trouble spots for me.

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    1. Finishing a first draft is a big trouble spot for me, too. So I guess I compare myself to my writing friends who have a manuscript...

      For my other comparison, I envy those who can accomplish things with a more economical use words. I'm guessing I'm in a minority with this envy, but everything I write starts getting way too long. My novel's middle grade, so if I read something else in that age group I marvel at how much is accomplished in that few pages/words.
      Thanks for sharing the quote!

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