How do I stop comparing myself to other writers? ?

I'm an aspiring writer. I mainly write fanfiction & stuff of that nature (fanmade work), and everytime I read a story that's incredibly well done, I always feel like crap after. Not because I don't like it, but because I love it so much that I just start to fixate and ruminate on the fact I'll never be as good as them. How can I stop doing that? Apart of me thinks it's because I've been diagnosed w/depression, anxiety, bipolar && OCD... but another part of me thinks I'll never be as good as them. I know this is a silly question, first world problems, really, but I can't help it and I just want it to stop. 

9 Answers

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  • 1 week ago
    Favourite answer

    The alternative is to accept it. Acknowledge that you're not (yet) a very good writer, put that knowledge aside, and get on with making yourself a better writer.

    What Voelven suggests is really sensible. Read a lot, and when you find a particular passage that fills you with awe, focus on it, study it, think about it, until you can work out how the author made it so good.

    Don't blindly copy it, but be conscious of that author's methods while you're working on your own writing.

    And raise your game in reading. Read GOOD novels, modern classics, as much and as widely as you can. This will give you so many more options in terms of your own style and vocabulary.

  • 4 days ago

    Writing is a skill you can improve with time. Some might have natural talent but those that keep at it will surpass the lazy talented people one day. I know a few fanfiction authors who have been at it consistently for 10 years and you can observe major improvements in their work.

    I recommend finding some other authors you can talk to, that are willing to read your work and give you feedback. 

    https://theartistszone.com/  is a good website for fanfiction authors to get together.

  • 5 days ago

    Accept what you are.

    Say "I am the best, I am the best"  this to yourself at least 100 times a day! 🤗

  • Hannah
    Lv 5
    6 days ago

    If you are comparing yourself to others I'd say you have low self esteem and low self worth. Speak to a therapist who can help you.

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  • 1 week ago

    When I was writing papers, one of the things I did was speak what I've written. If I came across sections I didn't feel comfortable speaking, I'd re-write them until I did.

  • 1 week ago

    The best way to stop comparing yourself to writers is to stop comparing your work to other writers and then accept you will be different from other writers and other  writers cant steal your writing because you write good and that's what good writers do. But if you write something different then the writing will speak for its writing and the comparing will cease to exist you get me. So if you write more then the writing will help u be different. 

  • Marli
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    Andrew, Volelven, and bluebellbkk have provided excellent advice.

    My little bit of advice is: be yourself. Every writer does not write exactly like every other writer. Most readers appreciate different styles and genres of fiction.

    I like Raymond Chandler's mysteries and Agatha Christie's mysteries. (The gritty and the knitting) They are so different from each other and I doubt either author could or would write like the other; but they are still best-sellers and classics of the detective genre written between the world wars. 

    So don't be hard on yourself if you don't write like another writer you admire. Study their works to see why you like them and how you can improve your own writing, but you are writing YOUR stories. You are learning your craft in order to express what you want to express. You are training your writing voice.

    Also, please don't allow your diagnoses to hold you back. I have a growing admiration for those who keep on in spite of their setbacks. My niece with ADD who has just harvested her first garden produce.  My childhood friend with polio and another friend with Down's Syndrome who work outside their homes. They have more to complain about than I do, but they don't complain aloud. They achieve.  Another friend who has mourned the loss of her husband in Facebook messages for 18 months now volunteers at the hospital where her husband died. She has severe depression and widow's grief, but she "goes on with God's help and her friends' love."  I don't think anyone who can't go on is a failure, but these women show me that they do go on, and that has encouraged me to go on.

  • 1 week ago

    It's a common feeling among writers, and while it usually lessens as you get better, it doesn't necessarily goes away. I've been writing for more than 20 years, and I've gotten pretty good, but I still come across passages where I think, "Oh boy, why am I not writing like this?"

    I think there are two ways to go about it. The first way is to be self-aware and consciously force yourself to think about other things, every time those negative feelings surface. It won't be easy the first few times, but if you make a habit of it, the negativity should take up less and less space.

    The other way, and the one I use, is to sit down and figure out what made that writing so good. Approach it like you would a school assignment, break it down, analyze it, and then you try to do the same with YOUR writing. For me, it's been one of the key-elements to making me a better writer.

    And don't be so hard on yourself. You're just starting out, so it's hardly surprising that you aren't that good... yet. Like Andrew says, it's a craft that needs to be learned, same like with everything else.

    Regarding your diagnoses: If you're serious about your writing and want to take it beyond just hobby level, then you might want to hold back on getting serious feedback until you're mentally prepared for it. Feedback is invaluable when learning how to write well, but good feedback if often brutal and not for the faint-hearted, even when delivered gently, and often it's not because it's faster just to get to the point. Once you've grown a thick skin, you could even find that you prefer it that way. It's clearer and you won't have to read through a lot of pink fluff when revising.

    Remember, people telling you your writing sucks, doesn't mean that YOU suck or that you don't have what it takes. It just means that this particular piece of writing needs work, and as you're fixing it, you're learning how to write better.

    Of the writers I connected with and exchanged reviews with when we were all aspiring writers, one is now a N.Y. Times bestselling author, another has won multiple awards, a third is a successful self-published author and making a very nice living from it. And I can tell you that they didn't just start writing at the level they're writing at now. We all have start somewhere.

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    If you've been playing a musical instrument for a week it's a given that you're going to be compared unfavorably to people who have been playing for ten years. There's nothing to be ashamed of or to feel bad about. If your goal is to become a better writer and to learn the craft, to develop and progress and grow, then you'll need to accept that it's a process. It will take time. It will require effort. If what you're producing now is better than what you were producing six months ago, then you're on the right track. I wouldn't think that the level of talent between mediocre fan fiction and terrific fan fiction would be anywhere near as vast as it is in real forms of writing... Any writer with any degree of talent would naturally move on from that type of stuff. That might not be a bad idea - to set that goal for yourself. To be a good writer, one needs to be well read. Reading fan fiction isn't going to enable you to lay the foundation required to write well. You could try playing Chopin on a recorder, but it's not going to work. And you won't be whipping up gourmet meals in an Easy-Bake Oven either. 

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