You have a friend with more followers than you on Twitter. Another blogger gets more comments than you on her blog. Your friend who wrote a cookbook got nominated for an award.
You read the bios of food bloggers and food writers online, and feel envy about how much media attention they get, or whom they write for, or how clever they are. Or you spend hours on Facebook and Twitter, admiring how some writers craft a witty sentence, and seeing how many “Likes” and comments and RTs they get.
Then you try to comment but you find you don’t have anything brilliant to say. And then you get mad because you’re supposed to spend time in social media, building followers and having conversations and leaving comments, but you’re spending too much time on it and not getting any writing done.
And what does this get you?
Just in case you’re wondering, I compare too. I compare myself to other speakers, other teachers, other coaches, other writers. I read beautiful writing and I realize I am never going to be that talented. I doubt myself.
Comparing is evil. But it’s normal too. I try not to let it crush me. When it does I can’t write anything because I am too busy beating myself up.
Fortunately, the moment passes. I tell myself there is always someone doing better than me, but I am doing better than lots of other people. It’s still a comparison and it’s silly, but it calms me. Then I redirect myself to what matters: crafting the best possible book, blog or article I can, remembering that I love what I do, and that I am fortunate to even get to do it.
These thoughts came up when I read a provocative blog post from My Mezzaluna, sent to me by Arva from I Live in a Frying Pan. I’ll leave you with passage from the blogger, Edwina Cottino, who wrote this in the comments:
“After falling apart for a while and questioning myself and all my abilities the one thing that brings sanity is to stay true to yourself and keep in mind why you are doing this in the first place. Many want to find fame and fortune through blogging and photography, and many do. Most don’t. My feeling is if you follow your passion it will pay off in some shape or form eventually. Perhaps only to give you pleasure. Just as digital photography has suddenly turned millions into photographers, so blogging has given many of us the opportunity to be published, even if our work is only seen by those who follow us.
To stay happy and content with ourselves we absolutely must never compare ourselves to others. We all have something different and unique and for me, being the square peg in the round hole, fits. The moment I begin trying to fit in with what everybody else is doing I start to stress. Thank you to all of you for confirming to me that doing something that has value is more important than being famous.”
Amen sister. We all go through this questioning from time to time. Just yesterday I just sent an email to a food blogger, a former client, who hasn’t posted for months, and asked what’s going on. “It’s complicated,” was the answer. It always is.