The last few days have been a busy time, though not always for writing. There is at least one day of the week I set aside just for family. It usually comes with several hours behind the wheel. By the time I get home and take care of all the necessary chores, it is late, and I’m often too tired to write anything. Other times I am bursting with ideas. My favorites are the rare days when someone watches all the children, and I have an hour or two of uninterrupted time to do whatever I want. I usually work, but it is still a huge blessing.
This week I will be guest posting in the Writers’ Room, a collaborative column by Christian Writers. I have the post ready and likely spent too much time obsessing over an image. Here I have the two (so far), so that everyone knows if the post is for Alley’s Heart or is a Writing Parable just by glancing at the picture. There I needed something that said, “online networking.” I finally settled on one and hope it will translate well. For some reason, the stock photo sites don’t have magical perfect pictures that are exactly what I am looking for even when I don’t know what to search for.
I also got some writing prompts done for the Story Starters section. I also got to stop by the critique section of my favorite writing site. They have amazing works there. It could be easy to compare myself to the other writers on there. It is easy to say how fantastic their work is, how it flows, and all the strong nouns I wish I had used. Many of these authors I have had the privilege to get to know, and I will tell you a secret. Every single one of them fights not to compare their work to other people’s work, from the teen who dreams to one day be published to the author who has been writing for over forty years.
It’s comforting to know that it’s not a struggle that is exclusive to us. Often times we think we are the only ones who ever think or feel a certain way, because no one talks about it. It’s embarrassing to us to think everyone does better work, and we wonder if we will ever be half as good. I’m here to tell you it’s a normal feeling. Just as you are a unique person, so is your story and the way you tell it. Do your best to ignore that irrational voice of comparison.
I know many authors and writers alike who keep a folder of the good things people say about their work. When they are feeling down or had a bad review, they pull this folder up and read all the good things others have to say. Of course, you only get this by placing your work where others can read it. So be bold and get your work out there. You never know when you might become someone’s new favorite author, blogger, or critique partner.