Comparing Yourself to Others…and Your Past Self

This week Jami Gold had a blog post that reminded all of us that we cannot judge our own progress by that of other writers. I am terrible about doing this. One writer I know has 4 young children and another on the way, yet she writes about 100,000 words a months.

Talk about demoralizing. I’m here with my one kid who is getting old enough to take more care of herself, and I’m struggling to get 100,000 words a year.

I can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with me.

So Jami’s advice is good for me to hear. But it’s not just me comparing myself to other people that’s the problem. It’s also me comparing myself to a younger me—and in some ways that’s worse.

I used to be a writing machine. Words would pour out of me and my word count was astronomical. Now it’s…not. I’ve improved a bit over the past couple of months, but I really miss the writer I used to be.

So I think I have to work on accepting that I am not the writer I used to be, not for lack of talent or desire, but just because life is different. There are things taking up time and energy now that were not there before. More things to navigate and juggle, but also stressors that impede creativity and make it difficult to access creativity when I do have time.

I’m working on fixing some of these things, but mostly I’m working on being kinder to myself and accepting that this is my “now”. In a year or two, I will have a different “now”, and who knows what that will look like, writing-wise?

Are you your own worst critic? How do you deal with accepting the limitations you have on your writing life?

Comments

  1. Carolee Pastorius says:

    A good blog as always, Kerry… too often, artistic people compare their accomplishments with others… ALWAYS a big mistake. Only compete with yourself… and don’t spend a lot of time doing that or you lose time to work. You do have a child who has a lot of needs that you address daily. she’s a marvel, but a marvel who needs tending and you are doing a great job with that. You also do a lot for your community which takes time and energy. So, just take care of your garden of life and realize that your family are all very proud of you, especially me. Aunt carolee

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