23 thoughts on “Then and Now: Fighting Off the Dreaded Comparisonitis #amwriting

  1. I hear ya sister, as they say in the USA. I know I could sell many more books if I was commercially published but then would have to write to their dictates and (even worse) their timetable. I’ve been lucky to have had a ‘career’ which enjoyed at the time (34 years) but it wasn’t what I really wanted to do – ie write books. Now I’m following the dream. I write for ME and my READERS and that’s fine. Just about to start #6 and enjoying the journey without worrying about what an editor would cut out of it, I would love large print books and audio but so far those have eluded me. If I’ve learned one thing it is that you can’t have it all, just be happy with what you’ve got. As you say: “Focus on your own path and, now and then, take a look back at where you were when you started and then see where you are now. No one else’s journey matters.”

    1. I think plenty of your readers are very glad that you’re free to write the books you want to write. I know I am! Looking forward to your sixth novel, Lizzie. What shines out clearly from meeting you and following you on social media is that you’re having a fabulous time and thoroughly enjoying your life. As you say, “following the dream”. That makes you a huge success in my view. X

  2. Thanks Sharon, this is a timely post for me.

    I shall make it a New Year’s Resolution not to let my insides tie themselves in knots over other’s achievements and progress.

    As you so rightly say, moving forward is an achievement in itself. So today I shall forget my bad back and finish revising a chapter in my WIP. An achievement in itself.

    I look forward to your next blog.

    1. It’s very hard to remember sometimes, isn’t it? We do get a bit transfixed by what’s going on with other people. I hope your revisions went well today. Very sorry about your bad back. It’s so painful and affects so much of your life, as I well know. Thanks so much for taking the time to read the post and to leave a comment!

  3. Thanks, Sharon. A very timely piece for me.

    I shall try and concentrate on my writing and my progress and not worry about other people’s success. I know I can write so must just get on with WIP!

    So this afternoon I shall finish revising a chapter and fins my own way through the woods.

    Look forward to more posts from you.

  4. It’s contagious! I’ve got it. Did I catch it from you or did I give you it? Whatever the case, it’s one of the hardest – and perhaps more unexpected – parts of this writing malarky. I expected rejection. I expected bad reviews. I expected to have go continue with the day job cos I wouldn’t make anywhere near enough to match my salary. I didn’t expect to constantly compare myself to others and feel like such an under-achiever. You’re absolutely right to look back and see how far you’ve come. You’ve had an astonishing output and every single thing you’ve written is fabulous. Let’s do this thing together xx

    1. The thing is, Jessica, you’re far too hard on yourself. You have absolutely no reason to feel like an under-achiever when you insist I’m doing well, because we’re on a par professionally and I’m sure you’d never call me an under-achiever. You should talk to yourself the way you talk to me! And yes, we’ll make it happen! Xx

  5. Wow… but you’re books are beautiful and you’re so talented, you’re published aren’t you?. And you, Jessica, posting above very talented (on my reading list for this year). I think it is swings and roundabouts, as you know I had to give up nursing because of MS, then I had two years of hiding from community nurses who were using my house as a toilet stop – I couldn’t get any writing done for people who ‘needed to pop round and see me’ (rolls eyes). Now I sell none to zero books but I’m here for the occupation. My ex work colleagues who really turned on me because ‘I was able to give up work’ (true story) are now able to and occasionally do have a nosy on my social media author pages – that’s a box tick for me and I don’t mind disclosing it! On another note… fourteen novels? I’ve got some more reading to do xx

    1. Aw Sam, what a lovely comment. Thank you. Can’t believe your ex colleagues treated you like that! Bless you. We’ll all just keep doing what we’re doing. As long as we enjoy it we’re all winning. Xx

    2. Aw, Sam, I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles. People can be so cruel. And thank you so much for your kind words. So kind of you to have me on your TBR pile! *blushes* Sharon and I are terrible for putting ourselves down. We’re great at building each other up, but rubbish at recognising our own achievements! xx

  6. This was just the kind of post I needed to read right now, Sharon! As someone who has felt everything you’ve described, and is fighting a constant battle with self-doubt and anxiety, this post has inspired me to look back at my own writing career, and to think about just how far I’ve come. And to stop comparing myself to others, I am NOT a failure! You are an amazing writer, an inspiration to me, and thank you so much for this post – you’ve given me the push I needed to get back to doing what I love. Wishing you so much success with your own writing. 💕 xx

    1. I’m so glad it helped you, Michelle. I know so many writers who are battling these feelings. We’re definitely not alone! You most certainly aren’t a failure, that’s for sure, but I think we’ve chosen a profession that’s quite damaging to the less confident. I know it’s easier said than done but we have to switch off from other writers’ achievements and remember our own. Keep doing what you’re doing, and have fun! Xx

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