Trying to be…

As I take my 15th sip of coffee this morning I realize that I’m not happy with how I write. I want to write ideas like Seth Godin. I want to write like Johnny B. Truant. I want a readership like Chris Guillebeau.

Sigh.

As I try to get everything in my brain out I want it to be inspiring, enlightening and entertaining. That’s a lot of ing’s.

I’ve been upset that I don’t write as well as a few great writers that I truly love to read.

How can I compare myself to greatness? It’s not fair.

There is nothing wrong with finding inspiration from great people, but wanting to be like them is a fool’s wish. Don’t try to write, think or act like others because you’ll always be a little short of your goal. Don’t let the jealousy game tear down your confidence.

Look at what you do well and be more of this. Enjoy how you use these superskills and measure your success against yourself. If you started a blog this year and are finding ways to connect with your audience then good for you. Keep going. The only way to be truly happy with your work and your career is finding ways to be more you.

Every time the jealousy bug starts to bite you, acknowledge these thoughts and very quickly let them go by putting your focus back on you. Look at what you’ve done well and how you can dig just a little deeper to get better results.

Have you let jealous thoughts bring down your confidence?

Comments

  1. Hi Karl,

    Thank you for raising these issues. Even if we don’t go as far as feeling envious of writers who seem to crank out blog posts and books at an amazing rate or resentful of others’ success, getting caught up in comparing ourselves to others or trying to write like someone else only serves to play into our insecurities and further paralyze us. We’re cheating ourselves and our readers when we work too hard to sound like someone else. The energy would be better used to develop our own writing “voice” and then strive to keep that voice perfectly tuned.

    I went through a stage a couple of years ago where I felt that I “should” be writing a certain number of posts and on certain topics and in a specific style in order to increase my readership, and all that happened is that the muse went on strike. She steadfastly refused to whisper a single inspiring thought in my ear until I promised to be true to myself. That meant writing about topics that interested me and then polishing the style so it would engage other readers. It also meant accepting that it is not my style to crank out articles at a fast and furious pace.

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