Humans have the tendency to compare themselves to each other. As writers we look at what our fellow authors have accomplished and get bogged down if we aren’t achieving the same thing. It’s a toxic habit and something that will kill your creativity and cause some serious burnout.
We are all different. Some of us have spouses, children, demanding jobs, illnesses, etc. It’s impossible that we all achieve the same things at the same time. First, how incredibly boring would that be? I find joy in helping others and working with mentors. We all need to be at various levels to keep the circle of support going.
Second, we all define success differently. Our big picture is not the same as our peers. Selling ten books in one month might thrill an author, but disappoint another. Focus on the most important thing: YOU.
Third, surround yourself with supportive people. You want to be in relationships, friendships, and partnerships that are two-way streets. You want to be supported while being supportive. That’s how a healthy balance works and that is an awesome way to create a solid foundation for your goals. Get rid of the folks who do nothing but place themselves on platforms and talk about their shit all day long, seven days a week. It’s great to toot your own horn about your accomplishments, but there is a fine line before it becomes annoying and tacky. And no one has time for energy vampires either. Helping others is wonderful, but there comes a time where folks need to start making moves to help themselves.
Finally, be authentic. Follow your heart and dance to your own beat. If you do this, I promise you will attract those who you need in your life. Work at your own pace. If your big goal seems overwhelming, then break it down into smaller goals and when you reach them - celebrate!
It’s okay to be hard on yourself. You need to be, but don’t compare yourself to others. It’s a waste of time and energy. So maybe someone posted online that they wrote 3,426 words and you’ve only managed to squeak out 655. No worries. Pat yourself on the back for writing today and if it really bothers you that much, then stay off social media, turn off the TV, and write.
Yesterday I made an update on my author Facebook page that read:
NaNoWriMo Day 4: Don't stalk the daily word count & don't let it stalk you! JUST KEEP WRITING.
If you have participated or are currently signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) then you know exactly what I am talking about. Your daily goal is 1,667 words and that word count rolls over to the next day if you fall behind and then to the next and the next.
It can be SO SCARY, but don’t stalk the daily word count & don’t let it stalk you.
Right now, I am a full day behind if I am following the recommended daily word count to stay on track of the ultimate goal of 50,000 words in November. It weighs heavy on my mind, but in actuality if I just write an extra 240 words for one week, then I would be right back on track. 240 words is shorter than this blog post – easy peasy!
We are all trying to take on this writing challenge while juggling jobs, families, and households, so don’t beat yourself up. If you can’t make the time to write 1,667 words in one sitting, then split that up into three quick writing sessions of 555 words! I bet in the time we (yes, WE. I am guilty too) spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TV, TEXTING, we could be WRITING.
The moral of this blog post is JUST KEEP WRITING.
If you fall behind, it isn’t OVER. You didn’t lose. You are WINNING because you are writing.
PS: Find me on NaNoWriMo! I’m SageRA (http://nanowrimo.org/)