It can be hard, but learning to stop comparing yourself to other writers is an essential skill you must learn. Once you do you will gain confidence, which is crucial to a successful author.
It is easy to fall into the habit of comparing yourself to other writers. There truly are countless great authors out there. The thing is, comparing your writing to theirs is not going to help you improve. More times than not it will simply discourage you.
I have written a post before on avoiding comparing yourself to other writers before. However, I never discussed strategies to do this.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Writers By Accepting You’re Not Perfect
Writing is not like math, where there is a correct answer or equation for almost every question. There is no such thing as a perfect book.
If your goal is to write a perfect book you are going to fail. Your goal should not even be to write a bestseller. It should be to write a story that you are passionate about. Focusing on telling your story the best way you can and accepting you are going to make mistakes along the way is huge.
When you accept your job is to write the best book you can write and you step away from trying to compete with other writers, your goal becomes more manageable. You are also in the process become a more confident writer.
Understand What You Do Well
Every good author has something they do well. Discovering what makes another author so amazing should not discourage you. Rather it should inspire you to find what is special about your writing.
It is easy to simply say nothing, but that is cheating yourself. Honestly go through your writing and find the things you like about it. You should focus on these things and ensure they are present in your novel. Rather than tearing apart your novel, build it up.
You may not do certain things as well as other writers, but there are always going to be things you do better than others. By acknowledging what you like in your story you can be more confident in it. Understand that even the best authors may be able to look at your story and acknowledge what you do special.
The knowledge of what you are doing right can be much more useful than what you need to work on. Sure you need to polish the rough spots of your book, but you also want to highlight the best parts.
Learn From Other Writers Rather Than Comparing Yourself to Them
You can learn from other writers without tearing your writing down. If you find an author that does something particularly well, feel free to take notes to keep in mind when you write your book.
A big part of writing is learning new ways to improve your craft. Rather than discouraging yourself by comparing your work to other writers, learn from them and incorporate what you like about their stories into your own.
The best writers learn from the best. Do not be ashamed to take notes and improve your writing, especially if you are new to the craft.
Comparing your work to that of others does nothing for you as a writer. If anything, it can get you discouraged. That can quickly lead to writer’s block.
While it can be hard not to compare yourself to other writers, you should do your best to reduce the temptation and follow these tips. The more confidence you grow as a writer the less inclined you will be to compare yourself to others.
It is one thing to learn from another writer or feel the desire to improve your writing. It is completely different to compare yourself to other writers. These tips will help with that, but you will have to make the effort.
Jealousy can be a powerful emotion. Do not give into it. It will not benefit you on your writing journey.