#IWSG - Insecure Writers' Support Group: Why Writers Don't Need to Feel Inferor

Writers at all stages of their careers struggle with this, and it's a feeling that holds us back. But, the truth is, there's no reason for a writer to feel inferior. Because the reality is there's no one to feel inferior to.

As a writer, your only competition is yourself, and the only writer you should compare yourself to is the writer you were when you wrote your last story. Comparing your writing to someone else's is actually a pointless and needlessly frustrating activity. You're not that writer. You're not producing the same work.

My job is to be the best Lissa Bryan I can be and produce Lissa Bryan's best work. I'm not tasked with being a better writer than [insert name here] because I'm not writing that person's books. I'm writing mine.

We can learn from other writers. Looking at their work - their style, how they craft a story - can help us improve our own. But we need to recognize that we're all walking our own path. No one else can write your stories, so don't feel inferior to anyone. Do your job and be the best you that you can be, and don't let silly comparisons drag you down.

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  1. This is a really great blog post and a great reminder! I have a hard time comparing myself to other writers and I need to stop. I'd be happier lol. ~Kelly (found your blog on goodreads. Glad I did :) )

    1. Thank you. :) It really does help your perspective and outlook once you can learn to get past the comparison game. You'll be so much more content.

  2. I realize that I'm telling my story in a way only I can do it. Sometimes though, I do look at other writer's words and wish I could wield words as well as they do.

    1. You wield words the way YOU do. You can't do it any other way.

      Think of it like parenting... You can't copy another parent raises their kids. What works for their child may be completely wrong for yours, because your kid reacts differently to styles of discipline, rewards, responsibility, etc. You can get IDEAS from another parent for things to try, but how you end up raising your child will be completely unique to your situation.

      Likewise, your story is your child. No one else can raise your "child" the way you can. Do you remember when the Mitchell Estate hired an author to write a "sequel" to Gone With the Wind? The author even copied hundreds of pages of Gone with the Wind in longhand to try to get a'feel" for Margaret Mitchell's style. And it just didn't work. The new author was trying her best to copy the original author -- she did everything she could to emulate her, and she just couldn't do it. This was an author who was successful with her OWN books, but when she tried to copy someone else, it just fell flat.

      Be you. Be the best you that you can be. Learn, but don't compare, and don't try to emulate. Work on polishing your own style.

  3. This "comparing" mentality eats at so many writers. Does if affect other artists to? Usually you don't have to look very far to find someone you think is better than you. But then again, someone else is looking at you and thinking you are better than them. So let it go, look at yourself, see yourself grow and know your best is yet to come!

  4. Excellent post, Lissa. Thank you for sharing this centering, back to basics piece. We write because we have a story to tell. We write for ourselves. We all know this; however, the reasoning is so simple that in this ever-changing market it gets pushed aside and ignored.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  5. So true. Even if you gave two people the same two plot outlines, they'd write completely different books.
    Great reminder!


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