Writer’s Block Diagnosis: Comparisonitis

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Let’s talk a bit about comparisonitis because I am feeling majorly crippled in the writing department right now.

The last few times I’ve sat down at my computer to write, I get stuck. In my idealistic mind, January is a month of pure, unabashed ambition for me. I’m rarring to go. I want to write all the words. I want to build a publishing plan. I want to start planting the seeds of a marketing effort to get momentum moving.

But then I take what I am looking at, and I’m comparing my writing to the published writing of others. When I look at my publishing plan, I am trying to compare myself to the writing and publishing speed of others. When I want to start marketing, I look at the established platform of others.

My brain has been struggling to get ahead of these negative thoughts. The blinding optimism from the beginning of the month is now buried under a very busy month at work, a hefty car repair bill, extremely cold weather that keeps me cooped up inside, and the fussy baby.

I sit down at the computer and I am just paralyzed with these comparing thoughts.

Overcoming comparisonitis is…not so simple.

This isn’t a new feeling for me. Published work by most authors, I mentally place it on this “unattainable shelf”. I shouldn’t, but I do. So I’ve been reading as a break from churning out words.

Published writing, unpublished writing, any kind of writing. The published writing I read…it isn’t perfectly in tune with me as a reader and writer. The unpublished work I’ve been reading, even less so.

But seeing other people get their words out there, even if the works aren’t fantastic, really boosts me to keep producing.

So this week, more words are forthcoming. My stories will be mine, not anyone elses’. They won’t be perfect when perceived by others, just as others’ work isn’t perfect for me.

So I’m just trying to take small steps ahead, even if it is just 20 words here, 600 words there. I am building my base for this year, and that will help me toward my goals.

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