Monday, March 24, 2014

The Trap of Comparison

The trap of comparison is something I fall into quite often. Just when I get feeling good about my writing -- whether that be the plot, style, characters, storyworld -- I stumble upon an author I think is more succesful than I am. "Succesful" can mean any number of things. Simply having a self-published novel or two out by mid-teens qualifies. Having cool catch phrases, a good author page, decent quality illustrations ... Anything. Since I don't think very highly of my own work to begin with, it's astoundingly easy to find someone to envy.

Once I start comparing my accomplishments to others, I get myself stuck in a cycle. Searching through my work and cringing at it, trying desperately to find something comparable in there. I never do. I start thinking that my work is crud because I don't have a catchphrase or good character quotes to pull out of it. So I try to make something similar.

I fail, because I can't properly re-create someone else's stuff for my own story and expect it to work. I get really frustrated with myself for not being able to make what I consider to be something synonymous with success. This drives my muse into hiding and feeds the vicious cycle.

So I sit there feeling sorry for myself and hating myself for not being creative.

Right now, all I know to stop this is that it helps to force myself to not do anything creative at all and wait. When I figure out a real solution, I'll let you guys know. ;)

And since I read somewhere that it's good to regularly include pictures in blog posts ... Here.

Some fan art of Brian McBride's character Alicia from Paradox. I know I've already said I liked that book, but I can say it again in the form of fan art. 

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