I’m blogging through a great book on the art of writing by James Scott Bell. I encourage you to pick up a copy of “The Art Of War For Writers”.
Tip #10 in the “Art of War for Writers” from James Scott Bell is: Status, worry and comparison are ways to madness, not victory.
Bell writes: One of the biggest obstacles of all comes from comparison with other writers and worrying about your status in the publishing world. This is the way to ultimate madness.
He then offers several tips on what he means:
- Stop checking your Amazon index.
- Stop Googling yourself.
- Don’t jump at every chance to promote yourself. (e.g. drive a thousand miles for a booksigning where you sell a half-dozen books).
- Don’t forget to exercise and nurture other interests in your life, besides writing.
I’ve been reading Ezra in my quiet times lately, and just this morning I read in chapter 8 where Ezra lists by name the heads of households, and how many were in each household, of those who returned with Ezra to Jerusalem out of exile. The thought occurred to me: Each of these individuals mattered to God. Each one mattered to Israel’s future. Each one had a voice, and each one had unique God-given value.
Sometimes when you scour through Facebook or Twitter, and see that you are one of thousands, a lone voice in a vast social media desert, it’s easy to feel small – especially when you are seeking to get started. As I meditated on what I read from Ezra, here’s what I wrote in my quiet time journal (before I picked up “The Art of War”:
“Twitter reminds me of how many souls are out there, each with dreams and passions. My part is to be true to what God has given me. I can be inspired by others, but not imitate them (except for an occasional ‘best practice’ that might seem useful.) I should learn to serve them, and not use them.”
Being true to your voice. Serving not using. Trusting, not fretting (for God is near!) And writing, not moping. These are ways it seems to me to overcome that comparison-bug.