Worry about being the best writer you can be, not about being better than someone else.
That’s advice I give myself when I end up worrying about whose work is better, mine, or insert any writer ever. This other person could be a humble and soft spoken professional, or an amateur blowhard who literally cannot shut up ever about the depths of their talent.
I’d love to write off all advice forever and ever. I seek it out pretty regularly though, maybe one of the more embarrassing things I can admit. Why the hell am I so constantly worried about finding some new piece of advice about writing?
Well. Writing is hard. I do use advice as a way to get excited about writing, because the types of advice I seek out tend to rely heavily on a kind of wide-eyed sentiment, or a slightly romantic view of the “writing life.” I like reading people talk about how in love they are with this thing I too love, but am maybe kind of annoyed at (or murderously pissed off).
Another reason is because distracting myself from writing is easy. It’s at least a little less aggravating that maybe, just maybe I’m distracting myself with something that also can inspire, or in some way energize me.
Advice won’t make me a better writer. Neither will comparing my work to someone else’s. If the strength of what I’ve written is only recognizable when comparing the work to someone else’s, then I’ve failed. The only thing that makes me a better writer is the act of writing.
The only writer I want to be better than is me. I want to be better than the last time. Remembering that is hard, so I thought I’d write some advice down, and when it comes time to search for some, hey. Remember: Worry about being the best writer you can be, not about being better than someone else.