Universal Comparisions

universeWhen one labors in a business built on popularity and sales and competition, invariably, one begins to compare things. It’s human nature. And when one–okay ME!–makes comparisons, it seems almost inevitable that jealousy rears it’s head. Hey! I’m just as good a writer/storyteller/author/fill-in-the-blank as so-and-so. Why is s/he on the NYT list or getting six figure advances and not me?!? And up pops the Universe to put me in my place…

Comparisons, Silver, are odious, because they presume all other things are equal – which is never the case.

Between me and you,
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®

You know, Silver, comparisons between people, pastries, or pansies, but especially people.

Yeah. I needed the reminder, or a swift kick in the seat of my pants. Things AREN’T equal. This business isn’t fair. I see marvelous writers languishing with either low sales or unable to break into the business. I see others who are content to rest on their laurels, as it were and so it seems to me, and just “phone in” manuscripts. My opinion. Some of these folks are friends, others I admire and respect. One part of me is ecstatic over their success. But there’s still a part that whines, “Why not me?!?!?!?”

But ya know? I can’t control any of that. I can’t control what readers buy/like/review/want-more-of. I can’t control what agents and editors decide. I CAN control what I write. I can control my talent. It’s up to me to put the best “product” I can out there. I can control the time I spend wasting effort and thoughts on the things I can’t control. Sort of a reverse Catch-22, what? Yeah.

I know there will be times when the inner brat rears its ugly head and whines. But I’ll stifle it and get back to work on the things I can control. And I’m sure the Universe will be there to remind me if I forget.

Now if the Universe would only send a little heat! 😉

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About Silver James

I like walks on the wild side and coffee. Lots of coffee. Warning: My Muse runs with scissors. Author of two award-winning series--Moonstruck and The Penumbra Papers, Red Dirt Royalty (Harlequin Desire) & other books! Purveyor of magic, mystery, mayhem and romance. Lots and lots of romance.
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10 Responses to Universal Comparisions

  1. Janet says:

    Oh, yeah, been there – done that many, many, many times! The cry of “Why not me?” can be a constant reminder of doom and gloom that spirals into decisions not to pick up the pen, not to try any more! Good reminder from The Universe that what we see may not be what is real (my favorite line: there are three sides to the story – his, hers and the truth in the middle) – and a great reminder from you that we can only do what we can do. Thanks, Silver – it’s always good to know I’m not the only one out there with those ugly thoughts!!

    • Silver James says:

      If all of us were honest, Janet, we’d all cop to feeling this way–at least once in awhile. I’m truly glad to see you back to writing and SHARING your work again. You’re a terrific storyteller. 😀

  2. Does kinda make you want to bash your head on the desk repeatedly, don’t it? (Or somebody else’s head – depending on the day and how bad the ‘big 6 published’ book you just read was.) In the end, all we can do is write what we write, to the best of our abilities, and hope someone somewhere notices. :heavy sigh:

    You’re right, though. Comparisons are natural. And they’re also mostly unproductive. I say mostly because, on occasion, they can help. “What’s she doing that I’m not?” can lead me to make better decisions and improve my own work. =o)

    And yes, definitely. Heat would be awesome right now. 7 degrees? I didn’t sign up for this.

    • Silver James says:

      Oh, exactly, B.E.! That’s one reason for my Wednesday’s Words posts. When a turn of phrase or a particularly moving/elegant/fantastic passage catches my eye, I want to learn from that author. I want to write words that other people will highlight when they read my books. As a writer, I never want to STOP learning. I get better as a writer with each newly finished project. And isn’t that part of the point to it all? To get better?

      We got three more inches of snow, and wind chill of -10. BRRRRRRRRR

  3. Erika C says:

    I can only imagine that being an author is just like anything else in life. First you just want to be published, then you just want someone to buy it, like it, recommend it to a friend. You just want your next book published. Eventually like everything else in life, the little things that had you over the moon in the beginning are expected and the wants become bigger. I totally get it.

    You’ve always been a cheerleader for me, know that I’m your cheerleader too. I recommend you to all of my friends, I buy your books whether a paperback or an e-book, and I think you’re amazing. Happy Thursday. 😉

    • Silver James says:

      Awwww! 😀 Thanks, Erika. And yes to everything you said. Writing for publication is a business and sometimes we all lose sight of that. It’s work. And no matter what a writer’s ego is like, there’s always a hint of self-doubt and a fear that no one will like your work coupled with the idea of “hey, I write better than X! What’s the deal?!?!” Humans. We’re so screwed up! 😆

  4. Comparisons come at us on so many levels, some others do to us, but we do so much on our own*sighs*
    I’ve done why do they have more following on their short ink pieces, then me.
    So I have pulled back some, think I just needed to take a breather from my own critic and their work and get other things in better order.
    We are all unique in our writing, I am just trying to embrace mine and me better, if that makes sense. I will just keep writing, the more I do I get better at my craft, my voice stronger and more material I have to work with.
    I am inspired by all of you and keep going, writing is part of what I am.
    We had some snow and sleet in some areas this morning, suppose to get worse.
    Stay safe and warm, weekend is almost here!

    • Silver James says:

      Sounds like you’re on a very good path for you, Kimber. And that’s what each of us need to discover, right? Our own way. But dang if it wouldn’t be easier if we could just focus on ourselves and shut out all the other noise/comparisions? 🙂

  5. I hate comparisons. But, like you said, we all do it and it usually ends in a not-good-feeling. We are all human and do get jealous from time to time…even of our friends and even when we really are thrilled for them.

    I just try to be the best me I can be, and not look at others. We all are unique and have a unique way of saying things. We need to embrace that. I love that we all are so different and it would be boring if we were.

    Someone once told me…We are all running our OWN race. 🙂

    • Silver James says:

      Exactly, Ash! And we need to concentrate on our own race and not try to follow those in front of us or worry about anyone who might be gaining on us. Easier said than done, but I’m working on doing just that! 😀

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