or, Why All Comparisons Are Not Just Useless But Dangerously Discouraging - Every writer has a unique perspective. There's room on the bookshelf for all of us!
I'm relatively at the start of my writing journey, so it is easier for me to compare my writing with myself from earlier. Am I writing better than 2 years ago me? If the answer is yes, I feel good. If the answer is no, I have the advantage of analysing my own writing, putting myself in the same mindspace, trying to conjure up the same point of view, and rewriting. If I can, I usually end up writing something better. If I can't, I still publish anyway haha!
Wow - well said! This can be applied to everything we try to do in life. We have to learn to stop comparing ourselves to others - and thinking that another person's way, style, method, etc. is the only way to be a great writer, painter, teacher, chef, etc. Learn from others, create your own style, continue learning, and it will all fall into place. Thanks, Graham!
I’m with you Graham. Just the other day I was reading Robert Caro’s Working, a “memoir” of sorts about how he research and wrote biography. I was so blown away by the quality of the writing in one long passage that I wrote it all down: while I could comment on what I liked about it just by reading it, it was all the better to have re-written it myself and I understood it far more deeply. After writing it, I went and annotated it with a bunch of notes about structure.