Comparison vs. Contentment

apple orangeMy approach to tension since surviving a brain tumor has been to do my best to embrace it. If I don’t feel overwhelmed once in a while, I’m not stretching myself enough. Sometimes when my tasks begin to win over my ability my world is thrown into chaos. I try my best to acknowledge and respect my limitations, step back and re-group. But more times than not, this is what happens:

That’s what I experienced when I entered the world of Christian publishing. There are more writers today than ever before–and they’re GOOD. They have strong voices and incredible talent. I find myself hitting a new nasty wall—the wall of comparison.

Comparison kills Contentment.

I know God’s plan for me is straight and true, just as His plan is for the next person. To compare my life to someone else is insulting to them—and God. It’s apples and oranges. When my heart begins to race from getting a bit manic about the writing process, I try to re-group, re-center, and follow the course set before me. I listen to my agent. I work on my social network. I practice and study writing. But most importantly I talk to others about the God’s gifts of mercy and grace. I do what I know God wants me to do.

I still spend time sitting in front of a blank computer screen, my nervous fingers hovering over the keyboard. Ugh! I hate thinking I should be able to do it just like everyone else.

My challenge: do what God inspires me to do and be content. My eagerness to write the perfect story can’t be more important than God’s Message. God’s gift to me and other beginning writers is beautiful and perfect. And if his plan is perfect, the time spent in preparation for what’s ahead is perfect, too.

For my writing friends, sit back from the computer screen once in a while. Stretch. Look around. There’s lots of good in your life that God’s placed there, but realize you’ll probably need that Calgon again … just as a reminder.

4 thoughts on “Comparison vs. Contentment

  1. Thanks for the note, Jann. There are so many good writers out there that it’s easy to be discouraged. I’m amazed, however, how the writers I admire struggled with the same ailment until they found their niche.

    I try to remember for me to be successful I need to satisfy my audience of One. He put the story in my life to tell. To please Him with how I use my talents is the achievement I’d be happy to have.

    Keep writing!
    Robin

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  2. Terrific post, Robin! I also struggle with the tendency to compare myself to other writers, which definitely robs me of contentment. Thanks for this reminder that the “time spent in preparation for what’s ahead is perfect, too.”

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    • Thanks, Jerusha, for the kind response. Honestly, I still have to force myself to enjoy the journey. You’d think I’d be all about smelling the flowers after my brain tumor. But I can get caught up in watching what other people are doing and what they’re accomplishing. Shame on me when that happens. There’s blessings during growth that make us into who we need to be. I’m much more at peace when I stay focused.

      Thanks!
      Robin

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