This has been a rough week…in fact, if I were being completely truthful, I would say it has been a rough six months or so. Not because of any single thing, because really, things are not uniquely different over these six months as opposed to the months that proceeded it.

No, it is really a series of several things that have made the past few months rough – a level of intensity, neither good nor bad, that has lifted me to amazing heights – and brought me to my knees.

Now, this isn’t a blog post about any of that – cuz that’s a whole different story. No, this is about what I have learned about my personal journey towards publication in the context of my life.

I started this little dance with writing nearly two years ago (two years in June, to be exact). Since that time, I have seen the vast majority of the people I met in those early days get agents, book deals, achieve publication. I have witnessed their highs, and tried to comfort during their lows.

And I have learned a great deal – about the craft of writing, the business of publication, and the attributes needed to make it in this industry over the long haul.

But most importantly, I have learned that no two journeys are the same. And the road is never easy.

Being a very competitive person, I tend to judge my own success within the context of others. I learn what works for the writers around me,  and try hard to emulate similar things in my own way.  And while these things are not inherently bad – especially the emulate part – they are problematic.

When I compare myself to anyone else, I negate the power of my own journey. And I lose the purpose of the journey in the first place.

This is the lesson I work on daily – an appreciation for the uniqueness of my own journey in this field, and an understanding that if I continue to work hard at my craft, listen and learn from those around me, I will reach my goals at the exactly right time…FOR ME.

How about you guys?  Have any of you ever struggled with comparing yourself to the writers around you?


9 thoughts on “My Journey of a Thousand Steps

  1. Um, yeah. Ten months before a single request? While others are agented within 2-6 months? Yeah. I compare myself to others. It gets me in trouble, LOL!

    The upshot? I’ve learned A. LOT. Without the ten months of mistake after mistake, I’d have absolutely no idea what I was doing wrong. Hehe, I may not be doing “everything right” yet, but I know better what I need to do. Hopefully, that will matter. *fingers crossed*

    Bottom line: I still believe in myself. Even when I get down. Good thing my bootstraps are strong, cuz they’ve lifted me up soooooooo many times, LOL!

    1. Thanks Vonna – I’m actually repped by an amazing agent…and things are progressing in the write direction…I just had to realize that things may not go as quickly for me as they do for otherS!

  2. Hey Christine,

    Let’s see—it’s been about six years since I started on my journey and I have been through Oh-so-many changes since then. First I had to learn how to write, because although I had passion, I had zero skills. Then I had to learn about the business. Then I had a big agent, lost big agent, saw friends get agents and mega book deals, and I’ve seen many friends lose agents as well. Through it all I’ve doubted myself, even hated myself—but came back with one answer. I can’t stop. No matter what. When I finally realized that, I decided to enjoy the ride. Yes, my destination is hopefully publication. Yes, I am a good bit older than most of my striving writer buddies. But this is the place I’m in—to be the best damn writer I can be and just keep churning it out until one book hits the sweet spot—the right book at the right time (and well-written).

    So here’s a hug, Christine. I admire your cheerful and amazing energy, and I think what has happened is that you struggled up a very steep hill, thinking you’d reached the top only to find the road goes on and on. Enjoy the road. Look at the scenery. You’re going to get there (you DO have a book coming out which is a huge thing), but maybe you need to slow your pace so you don’t wear yourself out. And remember it took Jay Asher, the author of the blockbuster Thirteen Reasons Why TWELVE years to get that book published. (hopefully it will take you far less).

    1. Thanks Lisa…I just have gotten to a place where my understanding of the journey is different. And on the slowing down thing…not in my nature to do that 😉

  3. YES!!! In fact, you’re one of the ones I aspire to be like. I am surrounded by so many great writers, and that’s probably one reason I struggle so much. This is a great topic, and I may just have to do a post about it. Anyway, you should know that you are a good writer and I for one look up to you as an example to follow.

    1. Eric – thank you so much! Your kind wordsmean the world to me…more than you can possibly know.

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