Climbing to the Top

Accountability time!

So, how'd you do? Did you meet your weekend writing goals? You knew I would ask first thing, didn't you?

Jessica, did you write 1,000 words a day? T. Anne did you write 1,000 words a day, even with your cold? Terri, did you finish line edits for one book? Lady Glamis, did you polish the ending of your newly completed novel? Jeannie, did you write 3500-4000 words and complete a chapter? Krista, did you edit 3 chapters, in spite of your hectic weekend?

For those of you who didn't leave comments, did you meet your writing goals for the weekend? And for the lucky few who can cram all their writing into Monday-Friday, tell us what your goal for the week is! We'd love to keep you accountable too.

Just to tell you, this accountability thing kept my fingers on the keyboard this past weekend until I finished my word count of 1500! Even though I am satified with the goal, it's hard not to compare my small goal with some of your larger ones.

Uh-oh, I said the C word. Compare.

Let's be honest. We writers tend to do a lot of comparing, don't we? We scope out other books, other blogs, other writing goals, and we look at how we measure up to everyone else.

The nature of the market for new writers compels us to excel above the crowd, to climb to the top, and to get our name noticed (especially with editors and agents). Then after we're published, we will have to struggle to get our books noticed and make them stand out above other books.

The comparison game never ends. We're caught in a system driven by demand. Therefore in order to succeed (in terms of sales), we have to do better and be better than everyone else. Or so it seems.

How do we keep the comparison game in perspective? Competition can sharpen us. But at the same time, it can chip away the pleasure we find in writing. Confession time: in what ways do you compare yourself with other writers?


  1. LOL Never fear dear comparer, I did NOT meet my goals! LOL Not even close. I barely scratched 2000 words. And then, the whole time I'm wondering if I'm headed in the right direction or if I'm going to have to delete everything I've just written.
    I don't think I compare myself too much, but I'm sure it happens. I have to think about this. Maybe with story more than writing. I feel like many of my plots tend to stray towards cliche. It would be great if I could think up some fresh idea. :-)

  2. Hi Jessica,
    2000 words is more than I accomplished! (See here I go again, comparing!)So don't get down on yourself! And I often feel the same: I wrote something, but will I need to delete it all at some point? I guess the good thing is that at least we're writing and discipling ourselves which is something, right?

  3. Yes I finished editing my friend's book! Pushed all day sat! AND I wrote a chapter of a new book and actually like it! Thanks!
    I don't compare too much but I see what they've done and then it pushes me to do the same!

  4. I try to catch myself fast when comparing enters in. It most often leads either to jealousy or the other extreme, both of which are NOT where I want to be.

    Mostly I chose to search for some learning, insightfulness, to be gained through the voice of other writers, published or not. I find the circle I keep are amazing encouragers, and awesome shoulders to cry on when I just need to let it all out.

    God made us all unique, and I thrive on the fact that He promises to supply all our needs. At least He knows what those are, even if I don't.

  5. I did polish the end of Monarch, thanks! I'm now on the final read-through of the second draft. Trying to zip through, but zip is a really fast word and it just feel like I'm clipping along like that. Darn editing. :)

    As far as comparing my work others' I do it all the time. Painful. And I wish I could get over it!

    I'll compare everything from sentence structures to plot lines and descriptions to book titles. And it seems I always come up short. I'm trying to work on this. Really. It's a huge part of why I always have Isuckitis

  6. Hi Terri,
    Glad you got so much done! Even extra! That is so awesome! I always love it when I get more done than I expected. Such a good feeling!

  7. I usually compare my writing STYLE and then go "oh shucks,I stink" :)
    Especially after reading a really well-written book. :)
    I did get almost 2,000 words written. 3,000 SHORT of my goal. Sigh. Oh,well - it's a new week! :)

  8. Hi Eileen,
    I really appreciate your spiritual insights! What a great reminder that God made us unique and promises to supply all our needs, even in our writing. Thanks Eileen!

  9. Hi Lady Glamis,
    Sounds like you're making great progress getting that MS reading to send to agents! How exciting!

    And thanks for your confession about comparing! I am totally guilty too. . .while I've learned a lot by comparing, it's easy to get discouraged too!

  10. Hi Jaime,
    2000 words is an excellent accomplishment! Sounds like you had a high goal! I tend to set mine pretty low, maybe even too low. But I like to pat myself on the back so I need something attainable! :)

  11. I did meet my goals, lol! Everything I did this weekend was sort of a miracle but the cold thank God is much, much better.
    I'll have to think how I compare myself. I do know that I roll my eyes each time I hear an actress or an actor has a book published but that's just sheer envy over the nepatism like atmosphere society lends them.

  12. Hi T.Anne,
    I'm so glad you were able to meet your goals, with a bit of heavenly help! And I'm glad your cold is better!

  13. Hey Jody, I thought I would check in. It is 2pm on Monday and I have written 1500 far. I don't know that I will get any more written, since I need to get out of my jammies, take a shower, and head to my son's track meet. (Wish I could take my laptop there, but alas, my laptop is falling apart and has to use a plug in keyboard and a plug in mouse.)

    Woohoo for comp days! Now to keep the momentum going!

  14. Sherrinda, I'm SO PROUD of you!! You met your goal and beyond! That must feel really great! I hope it was a fun day for you, relaxing in your jammies and writing! Sounds like a writer's dream-come-true!

    Maybe your reward to yourself when you finish your book should be a new lap top!

    Now you can enjoy the rest of the day and your son's track meet!

  15. Jody,

    Thanks for stopping over at my blog and leaving a comment! This is my first time here on your blog, and I am encouraged by what I am reading. Keep up the great posts.

  16. Hi Stina,
    Thanks for popping over! I'm still thinking about your post from today! Was encouraging!

  17. yes, i met my goal! thanks! but then i had my scene just die (see latest post on my blog for details) and had to stop.

    i guess i compare myself with other writers by how they write their prose. i get very jealous of a great metaphor or symbol. (that's not good, is it?)

    but god gifted us all in so many ways. we just have to find our niche and keep plugging along.

  18. Hi Jeannie,
    I did see your post about your scene dying. I'll be waiting to see how you bring it back to life!

    Looks like you've found a unique niche with blending your counseling/psychology work with your writing. I'll look forward some day (hopefully soon) to reading one of your unique books!

  19. Hi Jody! I co-authoring a novel with my friend Lori over at

    This weekend I wrote 600wds on the novel and 2000 wds on several other projects including a VBS curriculum and an article for MOPS.

    I used to compare myself to others way too much. Now I mostly suffer from doubt. I doubt anyone will want to read what I've written. I doubt I will get this done by my personal deadline. I doubt an article will be accepted.

  20. I think healthy comparison is essential to improving. It's the very backbone of my writers group, as we critique each other's work in order to sharpen our skills and work before submitting. I feel just as happy when one of the group has a success as I would if it were my own. :)

  21. Hi Casey,
    Thanks for stopping by! How cool to co-author a novel! And it sounds like you already have been building your writing career in other ways. You accomplished a lot this past weekend--great job!!

    I have many doubts too. For me, that comes after comparison with others, seeing how well everyone else is doing! Then I start to doubt my own abilities!

  22. Hi Angie,
    Thank you so much for your input! I was just waiting for someone to say somthing positive about comparison (because it's not always bad, right?). I think it can help sharpen us too.

  23. I edited 3 chapters and then some thankfully. I REALLY need to do more. I don't have a goal for this week though. Just trying to get through day-by-day until Friday, *grin*

    Comparing myself to other authors...

    Not really. I guess at times I do a little, but in a healthy, trying to learn from other's way. Like every good author, I LOVE to observe people, and that includes other writers.

    I do have to admit, I am a bit competitive *shock*. It was really hard for me last weekend not to see everyone's word counts and try to beat them just for the pure fun of it. *grin* Mean aren't I! But I've learned to recognize my limits and only indulge when I have time to, and do it purely not to 'beat' the other person, but to help me do more, be better.


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