Releasing Ourselves from the Writing Comparison Trap

by Vonda Skelton @VondaSkelton

No matter where we are on this writing
journey, we tend to compare.
Beginning
in 2003 and continuing through 2011, my writing partner, Edie Melson and I led yearly NCompass Writing
Retreats. The goal of each retreat was to offer a time of refreshing,
refueling, and of course, writing and rewriting. But in our last year of
retreats, we realized that year’s focus was on another re: releasing.
Let’s
face it, no matter where we are on this writing journey, we tend to compare. We
compare our words to other writers and determine our worth. We compare their
publications to our rejections. We long for their successes and see ourselves
as failures.

Even
multi-published mega-authors can succumb to comparison. Why did her book do so well when mine is obviously
better? How could the movie producer choose his memoir over mine?
Comparison is a trap
Comparison is trap that can lead to anger, frustration, jealousy, and resentment. It can lead to
quitting when God says to keep going.
But
the correct response to comparison is simple: release it. Release the
responsibility to succeed. Release the motivation to beat out others. Release
the drive for big sales, major contracts, and movie deals.
That’s
not to say that we shouldn’t do our best to learn and grow as writers and to
seek to get our work out–we should! His Word says to do everything with
excellence. But it does mean the motivation must be more than simply money and
recognition.
God is ultimately the one who determines our paths.
As
followers of Christ, our motivation must be to please Him by developing the
gift He’s given us, and then accept the truth that He is in control.
We
can work hard and work smart and do everything we’re taught as writers…and
still receive rejections.
Because
we’re not in control.
We
can take classes and rewrite till our fingers bleed…and never see our names on
the cover of a book.
Because
we’re not in control.
God
can choose to bless a less-than-perfect book…while letting a well-written one
sit on the shelf. And whether we agree or not, we must release it to Him.
It’s
through the release that we truly become successful Christian writers. Because
then He can use our words to change hearts for eternity…regardless of how we
compare to others.
How do you find release from comparisons? Be sure to leave your tips in the comments section below.
Vonda Skelton is a speaker and the author of four books: Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe and the 3-book Bitsy Burroughs mysteries for children 8-12 yo. She’s the founder and co-director of Christian Communicators Conference, offering speakers’ training and community for Christian women called to ministry. Vonda is a frequent instructor at writer’s conferences and keynotes at business, women’s, and associational events. You can find out more about Vonda, as well as writing opportunities and instruction at her writer’s blog, The Christian Writer’s Den at VondaSkelton.com.