I’m not good enough, fast enough, determined enough. I’m not…enough. I say: enough of that. I’m not everyone else and the faster this seeps into my thick skull, the better. I, like half of the human race, compare myself. I constantly think that if other writers (fill in the blank), then I should, too. But nothing in life is one size fits all. No, not even the clothing that says that. Have you ever tried that stuff on? No? I thought so.
As I sit here wishing I could will myself to start the next round of edits, I know that forcing it will get me nowhere. I know me. I know what are stupid ideas and what is best. I may question these things from time to time, but deep down, I know what I need to do. Watching other writers that can find ways to write 365 days a year, I feel like I am not a true writer. I am doing it wrong. If I was really dedicated, I would do it. I’m a slacker. Screw that. Just because my methods aren’t in every article about writing, does not mean they are wrong or less productive. They are just different.
I have other things in my life that unfortunately help dictate my writing schedule and levels of productivity. Doesn’t everyone? Finding a way to work around these is my biggest challenge. How we deal with those challenges are uniquely our own.
This is true for the general path other writers take. I see some who write their first drafts and have them edited to shiny perfection in a matter of months. That so isn’t me–at least not yet. Who knows for the future, but it sure isn’t my way right now. And others manage to secure an agent in the time it takes a person to sneeze. This is may not be my experience so I plan to expect for months and months of grueling rejection letters. Should things turn out differently, I can be pleasantly surprised.
No matter what the other “guy” is doing, I need to do what is best for me and so should you. Everyone should forge their own path. Well, figuratively since if we all did that literally, we’d kill the forest, but you get the drift.
So when I am feeling sorry for myself and annoyed that I am not doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing, I remember that rest is good. Frivolous distractions are even better. Sometimes getting my mind off the frustration that I am not writing or able to write is the best thing. Letting my mind wander often brings out new story ideas.
Moral of the story: don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Take their advice and use what works for you, but don’t feel like you have to be like anyone else. No path is ever the same even if they look similar.