So I stumbled on a couple interesting and guts-wrecking blog posts on Chris Ducker’s site yesterday. I got lost in them, consuming so much information that the guy had to offer.
Eventually, I left the site feeling gloomy, bummed, losing touch with my writer’s juice.
Hey, not because Ducker’s site is boring. It hardly is. He gives so much details in his articles, garnishes each piece with a knock-out desire to make you rush to come back, take action quickly (and readily hit the bookmark button) and inundates his work with so much research that ideas will keep smacking at you like rotten eggs.
In short, his blog challenged me.
And that’s what got me gloomy. The fact that *coughs* he’s better than me. (Giz, talk about the complex).
I got sucked in by that ill-feeling that nudges us to want to compare ourselves with another. Eventually, in doing so, what do we get – what did I get? Gloom. Beat-up, knocked-down mood, and a somewhat unwillingness to carry on with fulfilling our calling.
(I thought to myself: I’m just not going to be as good as these guys. Really?)
And so much as questioning your talent. Like I did mine. I asked if I was really cut out for this. I asked if I really could write what people would pay attention to. Or worse, what I would even think to pay attention to.
Now, it bothers on several things but specifically, it runs towards the same old gist: the road that we all have got to ply are individualistic and may not promise the best for us at all times. But it sure isn’t going to be smooth for us just so we can have an easy go on it.
Overtime, we’ve all got to come to terms with this fact: we aren’t all going to be ‘good’. And we aren’t all going to be the same.
But we can get better. And that’s a better goal than striving to be good.
I’m probably not going to achieve, perhaps, the kinda of success Donald Trump has. But the guy isn’t going to be able to start a writing-niche blog tomorrow (I think so). That’s what spells the difference for us. He’s got his uniqueness, I’ve got mine.
Money isn’t the stuff. As Donald Trump quoted, “money is just to keep score.” The real game is success. How we all get to succeed and how willing we are to pull in the long haul to succeed.
- How You Know You’ll Be A Successful Writer
When it’s time to put in the work to begin improving on the writing art (or any other dream for that matter), how do we know we are cut out for this? How do we know when we aim to go the long distance we won’t give up along the way?
If writing is work then we know it’s got to have its hurdles also. And if in an attempt to live your writerly dream you do not come to grips with the fact that life here also does not promise beds filled with lush roses, that’s when you need to reconsider leaving the writer’s life.
Jane Friedman writes about how you’ll know from the onset that you’ll ever succeed as a writer. The following highlights are a result of a brief interaction she had withJeanne Bowerman. Jane knew Bowerman would be successful when she noticed these attitude in the newbie writer:
•Seeking and loving feedback from smart people (NOT defensiveness and protectiveness)
•Loving the writing process and the meaningfulness of what she’s doing (NOT focused on monetary pay off)
•Happy to go to the grave with what she has learned—a direct quote from her (NOT impatient for publication or public
•Taking advantage of every possible growth opportunity (NOT resistant to change)
•Being in control of her own destiny (NOT waiting to be discovered)
In my words now, you know you aren’t cut out for this when:
•You dread (or are too lazy) to improve on the craft
•You hate for your work to be critiqued
•You put up self defense when your work’s critiqued
•You remain rigid and unresponsive to change
•You can’t get over someone else being better than you (you got a big problem here)
•You do things the same way consistently and expect different results (that’s the definition of insanity)
- You’ve Got To Get Over Yourself
We all have got the voice that’s uniquely ours. A message that can best be shared by us. If tried on by someone else, it’ll be like beating a gong in the middle of a large fair. The message gets lost in the noise.
Come to think of it: you started out well to write everyday. You have a couple writing successes under your belt. Maybe not published (like I’ve got loads of unpublished works). But you’ve got enough works to prove to any sane man that you’re a writer.
That’s where it gets interesting.
You’ve got to shuck the thought to think you’re lesser than you are and that some other persons are better (of course, they are). But you’ve got to do what most of them did that got them to where they are:think like a pro.
You see, it’s the same message. Thinking like a pro propels you to start acting like a pro.
For the records, Chris Ducker has had many failures as an entrepreneur. And he’s never ashamed to share them. His YourwebPA site failed after some period of success. He quit his day job and switched to starting his own business in 2009. He’s hit pitfalls, and learned to try again.
On his About page, he writes, “I completely shifted my attitude (something that’s required!) and started reading like a madman. I read every ‘new’ business book I could get my hands on.”
That challenged me more.
That’s the sodding attitude of a pro.
- What I’m Going To Do
So I’m getting off feeling gloomy because some guy’s made it in the business world (and I love him for it). I’m rather taking this off of him: I’ll start to read like a mad man, think like a business owner first and a blogger second, then write, write, and write profusely.
In short, I’ll stick with the ‘get-better’ goal until I see the life of my dream shape out.
Until then, it’s goodbye to comparing myself with anyone. In the words of Richard Ford, “Try to think of others’ good luck as encouragement to yourself.”
What about you? Aren’t you going to get over yourself, be yourself and start living the life of your dream?
*Photo Credit: DecorativeDecal
Who did you compare yourself with recently and how did it affect you? Share your comments below.
Hi. I’m Yusuff Busayo, a chronic writer and a fanatic book-lover. Here, I share kick-butt insights to help you write, create and make impact. Check out what I offer on my about page. Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.
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