Tuesday, March 31, 2015

From One Creative to Another

We've all heard it before: "Comparison is the thief of joy." But even though we constantly hear it, we still do it. If even for a slight second, we all have those moments when we think we should be doing what the next person in our field is doing. Or maybe we feel slighted because a certain piece we wrote wasn't published, while the next person's was. Or their art was purchased, while we have yet to make one sale.

I've been struggling with comparison a lot lately. Still unaware of exactly where I plan on going with this writing thing, this blog is the only thing that is constant and for sure. Day in and day out I think about stopping my freelance writing because I don't want to write about the subject matter that publications pay for. I think about stopping my editing and proofreading services, just because sometimes I feel it’s pointless. And a lot of the time, I feel like scrapping all of it so I can focus on writing and completing my book. To then end up letting days go by without working on it because I feel my story is useless. 

All these excuses for wanting to quit come from one place, comparison. Comparing my blog content, freelance pieces, and other work to people who are poppin’ in these fields is the only reason I ever feel like giving up.

I know the only way to get over the act of comparison is to continually remind myself not to do it. And even if I have to remind myself daily, then that’s what I will do.
I recently learned I am not the only creative who deals with this issue. As with anything we go through, we all want to be reassured we’re not alone in our feelings and that someone else has also been where we currently are.

I was reminded of this last Friday night when I attended a poetry event featuring my favorite Poeta, Elizabeth Acevedo. During the Q&A part of the show Elizabeth spoke about how she still compares her work to others. She added that we must remind ourselves there is room for everyone. Hearing someone who has accomplished so much share that she too deals with comparison was comforting.
And she is right. There is room for all of us. We may have similar stories to tell, but each story is unique because we are different. How I react to a situation may be completely different from how you react.

The point is- We as creatives can't be swayed by the success of others in our field. Use their success as inspiration and keep going. Remember their end goal may be different than yours. Stay focused on your path because no one else can bring what you bring to the table.


  1. thank you for this gentle and timely reminder <3

  2. This is how I have felt with blogging so many times. I would reader other blogs and unconsciously imitate them, then wonder why I wasn't fully enjoying what I was doing. I guess I was expecting to get the same result. But ever since I decided to really just be who I want to be and write about what I want, not 'whats trending' I hold more value in what I do and enjoy it a million times more. I've learnt to embrace differences and use comparison fruitfully :) This post is a lovely reminder of that.

    Mona x

  3. Beautiful post! As a writer, I struggle with comparing myself to writers. I think "Why can't I write like him or her?" But I have my own style and my own sound. I have to embrace that. Thanks for the reminder! :)