We all do it, whether we mean to or not, and social media is our worst enemy. We all compare ourselves to others, how we’re progressing in relation to them, whether as writers someone else is published, sold more books, got more shortlists, likes and comments on their posts etc.
I’m thinking about a post for next week about how we really need to think about what we want to do with our fiction because that’s central, what we want to achieve with our writing, our sentences, our ideas. Everything else is noise, so much of people’s perceived worth/talent depends on the zeitgeist, social norms, the in-thing, culture, visibility and who has the power and voice in the arenas that are seen as important. We want to find a clear path and say if we do x and y we’re going to make it. But it’s not that straightforward, the world is chaotic and while we can steer as true a path through as we can, there are a whole lot of waves and sharks that might change things one way or another.
Author and blogger Iain Broome says it best this morning and with terrific humour. How many of us sighed at the Granta best 20 under 40, especially those of us for whom 40 is a lovely landmark we’ve sailed by. Iain Broome says the green eyed monster is normal but that the main thing is to keep writing and making our work the best we can. In psychology it’s called intrinsic motivation and it works far better than the outside kinds like rewards (tho’ a nice award wouldn’t go astray!) Listen here on youtube to Iain’s uplifting and true discussion on our green eyed monsters and about staying true to the words.