I’m Not That Great: Confessions of a Newbie Writer

I’m Not That Great: Confessions of a Newbie Writer

Comparison is a deadly game in the writing sphere. I know this, because I’ve played it.

I have writing friends who are way ahead of me in their journeys. They’ve been writing since they could talk and I only started 1.5 years ago. They have hundreds of blog followers, published books, agents, and finished drafts. They get to go to huge conferences and rub shoulders with my favorite authors.

And I get jealous.

I’d just like to sit down and write a whole novel perfectly, ship it off to an agent, and get a massive book contract tomorrow. I want to have 5,000 email subscribers right now and have so many fan emails that I can’t keep up with them all. I want success now. I want to see fruit and benefits of my writing right now.

I’ve cried over my writing, thinking it will never be good enough. There have been days I can’t stop writing because it seems so perfect and the next day it looks like trash. Some days I’ll dance around the house I’m so happy because of a tiny achievement and the next day I’ll be staring at the blinking cursor.

I’d like to join the writing “elite” and have all the beginning writers looking up to me. I want to see my books in Barnes and Noble.

But the truth is, I’m not that great.

I might never be.

And that’s okay.

Every writer, every person, is on a different journey. My life, whether the personal side or the writing side, is not going to look like Jaye L. Knight’s. It won’t look like my friend Carly’s journey.

And I don’t care.

There’s a reason I’m right here, right now. God put me here for a purpose—to glorify Him. He’s given me the family and friends that I have for a reason.

Whether I become a famous author or not, I know that God knows what He’s doing. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His ways than my ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

But I can’t just sit around, waiting for something to happen. Bestsellers aren’t written in a day. (Sometimes not even in a year. 😉)

Writing, just like anything in life, takes time and effort to perfect.

A pianist doesn’t just sit down and write a concerto. They practice, they make mistakes, they start small.

Sure, they might wish they could write music that moves people to tears. They might compare their compositions to their favorite musicians.

But in order to succeed in anything, we must be patient. We must work.

The first time we walk onto the stage, we aren’t going to be phenomenal. We’re going to make mistakes, sometimes really embarrassing ones.

And there will always be someone better than us. A better writer, a better singer, a better dancer, a better plumber.

If we say, “I’ll never be as good of a writer as so-and-so,” we will never succeed. That’s a sure path to discouragement. If you keep comparing yourself to anyone but who you were yesterday, you’ll probably just give up.

But here’s the thing, God didn’t make you to be Jaquelle Crowe, Aleigha C. Israel, Nadine Brandes, or Brett Harris. He made you to bring Him glory by being who you are in Christ.

And that’s the best calling in life.

 

I owe a debt to the wonderful students and instructors on the Young Writer’s Workshop as well as my writing mentors, Aleigha C. Israel and Audrey Caylin, for always picking me up and pointing me to Christ I want to throw in the towel. Thank you. ❤

 

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale enjoying his copy of For Felicity by Audrey Caylin
Glendale enjoying his copy of “For Felicity.” It’s just his size!

16 Replies to “I’m Not That Great: Confessions of a Newbie Writer”

  1. AMEN. YES!!! The comparison game is so deadly, even when you’re just comparing yourself to yourself (like “I’m worse than I was a month ago,”). But the patience of resting in the fact that God has a separate, special plan for each of us that will make us happy can be so freeing. This post is so encouraging <3

    (and oh my word GLENDALE IS NEXT TO MY BOOK. *fangirls* XD)

  2. This post was so encouraging! I was seriously just thinking yesterday about how God’s timing is perfect, and I should never have to worry about my future because it’s all in his hands. Thank you so much for this, Allison! 😊❤

  3. Yes, I totally agree with this. Interestingly enough, my mom was just telling me the same thing last night because even though I know this all to be true, I still struggle with the whole comparison issue. Especially since I’ve been a part of a writing community for (like three, four years now), there’s many people whom I look up to and greatly respect, even though they themselves aren’t published yet. I mean, this whole comparison thing could really apply to everything in life, not just writing. C’est la vie, mon ami, and all that, but it’s true. Life has its ups and downs, but we need to have the right focus (which is God) if we hope to conquer our struggles. And another thing that my previous piano teacher, a world-class concert pianist and professor of piano performance, once told me, “No one ever really masters something. Yes, we may think we’ve “got it”, but occasionally, looking back and picking it up again, we will realize how much more we still have to go. Even when we think its perfect, there’s always room for improvement and growth.” Even though she was referring to music, it really can apply to everything, even the Christian walk! Thanks be to God that we will never be “perfect” in anything apart from Him!

  4. Excellent post Allison. And think, you’ve only been writing for 1 and a half years. I’ve been writing seriously for nearly 7!! For only being a year and a half into your writing journey, you are doing AMAZING! So keep it up.

  5. Allison,my wife and I are retired teachers from LEX, me in 1991 and my wife about ten years later our name is Stan and LINDA LAMMON and my oldest ,now retiring from Georgia state university, Millledgvile, Ga where he taught creative writing and has a very impressive resume.
    I’ve asked him to write to you to give you some encouragement as he was a grad of LEX ,Wittenburg be ,Ohio university ma,and Dr.degrees.
    You can search him Yout to see his credentials

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