Compared to who?

Do not compare yourself to other people. This isn’t easy to do. It really isn’t. But it can be crucial.

I can not put out a book and look at the sales and think “Well, Stephen King would have sold more.” – of course he would have. I am not Stephen King. Sad for me. But here is the other truth: he is not me and that is kinda sad for him. I like being me, but that means being me and not someone else. My stuff doesn’t sell like Person A, Person B or Person C. It sells better than Person D, Person E, and Person F.

What matters, all that matters, is if it sells enough for me. Did it do better than the last thing? Is it a better bit of craft? Have I learned from it? Will it be a good platform to make the next thing even better? Those are the questions that matter.

But everyone else in my field has a different set of experiences, relationships, and career paths that make comparison utterly useless. The only thing such comparisons can do is weigh you down and make you feel bad. If feeling bad about yourself is you goal – go for it. But it won’t help your work.

Instead of looking at your situation and being sad it isn’t like someone else’s situation I try to (and lord knows I fail some days!) to look at where I was, instead. So long as I am moving forward I am happy. Is it as fast as someone else? Who cares. I’m moving forward. And intend to keep moving forward. The speed is up to me and my efforts, not up to the person over there doing their own thing. If the speed isn’t fast enough than I have to work out how I can speed it up – not just see that someone else is on a different track.

Every track is different. Every career is unique. That includes mine. And yours. So don’t consume yourself with “But she did…” or “But he gets…” because it will get you no where.

Breathe. Make sure you are doing right by you. Then get back to work.

By Adam P. Knave

Adam P. Knave wrote this, but you knew that, since this is his site. That's kinda how it works.

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