Thursday, January 23, 2014

The one where I compare myself to others and then self-flagellate for being such a ninny

We all do it (at least I hope I'm not the only one). We see or know people who are younger, smarter, more accomplished, their hair's less frizzy, their nose is smaller, their boobs are bigger, and we do it. We look at ourselves, we look at them and we find ourselves...lacking.

Take Lorde, for example. At sixteen, she's the first female artist to top the Billboard Music Alternative list since 1996. I'm more than twice her age and the coolest thing I've done is squeeze something (two somethings) the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon and survived. No small accomplishment, right? (those two somethings are still alive, I'd like to throw in there, so that's another major feat).

Honestly, though, I hear about someone like Lorde and I think WOW and feel slightly inadequate for about two seconds before I move on with my life. It's when the wow-factor is closer to home that I really begin the point of comparison AKA gateway to the downward spiral of self-loathing.

I am a very lucky person. I have been blessed with absolutely AMAZEBALLS friends who also happen to be AMAZEBALLS writers. And I know first hand what they've gone through to get to where they are today and obtain the level of talent they have. I've read their crappy first novels, better second novels, and truly amazing third and fourth novels. Some of them even have pretty dang amazing first novels, which to me seems an impossible occurrence, but it happens.

The problem starts when I read one of these wonderful works of art, and then I go back to editing my own novel and I realize...I still have a long way to go.

Let's be clear here, and you may not believe me, but I am NOT jealous. I am super proud and excited for the accomplishments of the people I know, and I am thrilled to know them and be a part of their journey.

The problem is that I become disappointed in myself. I'm sure I'm a better, more knowledgeable writer than I was five years ago, but I start to feel like it's not enough.

Everyone has a learning curve, and everyone's learning curve is different. I see this at my day job all the time when we have new hires. Some people pick up complex government policy fairly quickly. Others take a little longer, or I have to show them/tell them the same thing numerous times, or in different ways before it clicks. And I constantly reassure them (when they feel like they're never going to get it) that it's okay. You will get it eventually, I tell them, just stay motivated.

But it's when I get home and confront the writing part of my life that I have to tell myself the same thing.

So tell me, lovely blog readers (who haven't heard a squeak outta me in nearly two years and probably won't respond) what do you do when you are down in the doldrums?

I know what I will do eventually: put on my big girl panties and keep plugging along. But I think I might stay in my diapers and mope about just a little longer.


  1. I'm in diapers with you--sometimes editing requires us to add little extra protection from the poo we may (or may not) have written! Big girl panties are for when we finish a GREAT chapter :)

    1. I thought I replied to this, what the eff is wrong with me?? Thanks for stopping by my little piggies posing as goat! Love your guts. I need all the diapers I can get!