Writers tend to want to learn from their favorite authors and writer friends. Which is good. We need to learn.
With the importance of maintaining a good author platform, social media has made it easier than ever for writers to network with each other and show their readers how they write.
That also means that writers see exactly how other writers write. Sometimes, that makes for a good bonding opportunity or lively discussion. Sometimes, it can be discouraging to newer writers who haven’t quite found their own creative process, yet.
Lurking on social media, comparing ourselves to each other…does very little good.
So what if someone else wrote more or less than you did this week Maybe they used a vacation day to stay home and write. Maybe they had a bunch of overtime.
Did a writer friend start a new project the same day you did? Maybe you were both psyched that you’d be working on your projects, side by side, but now…one of you is falling behind.
That doesn’t mean anything bad about either of you. It doesn’t mean one is better or worse than the other.
It just means that you’re not the same person, and the two of you approach writing in a different way. Maybe you edit as you go, whereas your friend types anything and everything that comes into their head. Of course, their word count will climb faster than yours.
If you like to plot your book ahead of time and your friend doesn’t, they’re going to jump in and write. If they have a few chapters written before you ever start writing? So what.
Your writing journey will be different than theirs.
There comes a point where we need to stop comparing ourselves to others and just write like ourselves.
After all, the thing that could truly make you a great writer…is your unique style and process.
There are so many options, so many ways to personalize your writing.
Trial and error is the best way to find your own voice. Practice writing and eventually, you’ll find your groove.
It might be a niche. It might be a wildly popular genre. Maybe you like to write in the mornings like Stephen King.
Maybe (if you’re like me) that just doesn’t work for you. Writing in the middle of the night instead of getting up at 5 am to write doesn’t make you less of a writer.
Maybe you like typing anything and everything that comes into your head and organizing/editing later. Or (if you’re like me) you make sure everything is halfway decent before moving on to another chapter.
As long as you don’t let that stop you from actually finishing your book, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Writing is a very personal thing. The creative process varies wildly from one person to another, and that’s a good thing.
There are so many different readers out there, all searching for something different.
3rd person or 1st? Both are good in their own ways.
Present tense or past? Both are good in their own ways.
Whether you love interpersonal drama or action, whether you like your prose flowery or quick and punchy…That’s up to you.
Your stile and process will develop naturally. You just need to practice and try new things with your writing.
And most importantly, stop telling yourself that the way you write is wrong because someone else writes faster/slower or different than you.
Keep learning. But stop comparing your progress. You will grow and write at your own pace.
Keep reading. Keep writing.