IWSG: Comparing Myself to Others

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!
Back at the insecurities question… Well, I just got back from my first writers’ conference, so I’m still processing a lot of information. So, I think–right this second–the thought that’s fluttering through my head is the amount of time involved in getting to the point that I can actually sell a book.
On the one hand–and objectively, I think–I believe that I’m getting close. I know I’m getting better.
On the other hand, it’s been a long, long time.  I’m insanely impatient, right now. Well, anyhoo… you know that one over-achieving classmate we’re all damned to endure? The one who straddles six or seven of your pet insecurities? Or, maybe that’s just me. Mine happens to live at the busy intersection of More Successful and Give Up and Write Sasquatch Porn. With regular stops from the Gonna Die Alone and Obscure Trolley Line. (And I’d really be breaking out the Valium if they were a writer.)
Yup. I ran into one of Over Achieving Classmate’s fans… or at least someone who brought them up often enough to grate on my nerves. I should have a sign to hold up.
The weird part is that I’m actually not all that much older than fan girl. (I Googled.) She just made me feel–uhm, decrepit.
At a distance, Classmate is my ticking success-clock. Tick-tock, tick-tock. How long until I run out of steam, and break down without ever reaching my goal?

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Right now, I’m writing (very, very soft) science fiction, which means that I don’t need to know that the Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 (in our timeline, anyway), or exactly what George Washington’s false teeth were made of. (eww.) Now and then, I wind up looking for more details on this or that, (or having the mind-bogglingly obvious pointed out to me) but more often than not, I pull information in mostly so that I can twist it, and then throw it into outer space.
Oh, wait… you’re talking about how to keep someone alive in a near-vacuum long enough that they can be eaten by giant space bugs, aren’t you? Well… yeah. There’s that.


  1. Reply

    Yes! I agree. I’ll be feeling pretty good about my writing and where I’m at. And then, someone brings something to our writers group that’s really – really – good. And because I’m not THERE, the translation in my brain is that I suck.
    Trisha Faye/Writers Zen

    • Reply

      I’m getting better about looking at success in the writers closest to me as an indicator of my own growth. It’s taken a while, but it’s people out at the fringe that still get to me. Critique partners/friends are more of a “Hey, this line is finally moving!” type experience, these days.

  2. Reply

    I’m sorry the classmate wasn’t sensitive enough to not make you feel decrepit. That’s kinda sad. We’re all on our own journey, and there are so many factors involved not the least of which is type of story. I wish you success and no more interactions with Classmate. 🙂 http://www.raimeygallant.com

    • Reply

      Oh, it is so very much not Classmate’s fault. Classmate wasn’t even there at the time. Classmate is a Public Personality with real-life screaming Fans. I ran into one of the Fans (possibly demi-fans) and I can’t think of a way to stop that happening, but it has nothing to do with Classmate. It still makes me feel a little… behind… when it happens. Grossed out, if the comments are of a sexual nature. I never **admit** to knowing Classmate, and that keeps the awkward away.
      I have a co-worker who goes full-on drool-fest from time to time, and I keep my mouth shut.

  3. Reply

    Bust that time clock and listen to your own INNER COMPASS that is where true success will come from and you are on your way. I really dislike judges who have 4 fingers, mind you, FOUR fingers, pointing back at them–while they are pointing at you or tweaking you, whatever. Their &$^! stinks too. They are just better at hiding it. Pet peeve, much? No who me? Okay, it is a pet peeve.

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