Stop Comparing Yourself

Have you ever read something so good that it knocked your own voice out of you?

You lost yourself because that piece of writing affected you to your core. You wanted to write like that author, you wanted to be that author. You thought you would never get back your own voice again so you were left staring at a blank screen, struggling with words that never came.

Sometimes when we are thrown like that, we just have to let the piece sit with ourselves for a while. Don’t worry, your voice will come back to you.

But you have to let it back in. You have to stop comparing yourself to that writer. You’re trying to capture that person’s voice and shove it down through your fingers but it doesn’t fit. It’s amazing to have writers we look up to—heroes, heroines. And you will always have your influences. Maybe someday someone will tell you that your writing resembles someone famous and you will glow at the compliment. But don’t try to be someone else. Don’t try to trap their voice and put your name on it. You have your own style. The way you choose your words to express yourself to the world is wholly and uniquely yours. Remember that.

Strive to be a good writer, a great writer, but don’t lose yourself.

jessica sita  Jessica Sita is an author and poet who you can find writing at her blog Watchful Creature. She is often blown away by such writers as Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, ee cummings and recently Ksenia Anske’s “Rosehead,” as well as our own Ericka Clay.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. bwcarey says:

    good post, find a voice, yours, thanks for the advise


    1. Jessica Sita says:

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!


  2. zeudytigre says:

    Timely piece for me as I have hit a bit of a crisis of confidence. There are so many wonderful writers out there it can be hard not to feel knocked back. This is good advice.


    1. Jessica Sita says:

      Thank you; I hope it helped! It came from a time, recently, when I had to talk myself down from feeling less than adequate while working on my WIP.


  3. Jessica Sita says:

    Reblogged this on watchful creature and commented:

    Guest posting over at Ericka Clay’s blog this morning about voice.


  4. LAMarcom says:

    For me, it has always been John Graves (Texan Writer) His most famous work was “Goodbye To A River”

    He will always be “My Hero and My Voice”
    I had the honor to speak with him on the phone some few years before his death.

    But, you are correct: I am not him and as much as I want to capture his ‘voice’ in my writing, I will never. That would be a disservice to him and to me.

    Great post.
    Thank you,


    1. Jessica Sita says:

      and thank you for sharing a new writer with me!


  5. a p a r n a says:

    something we must put in to the classroom walls as well!


    1. Jessica Sita says:

      I taught college composition during grad school a couple years back…wish I would have thought of these sorts of things then! Voice is so hard to teach.


  6. Nicole Marie says:

    Great reminder, Jess. Thank you. 🙂


    1. Jessica Sita says:

      You’re welcome, girlie. It was written to be a kind of kick in ass for myself too. 😛


  7. YES. There is someone I read every day and I think, “Damn. It! Why can’t the sarcasm and wit and humor and everything else just flow from my fingers like it apparently does with [that person]? I want to be facebook popular and locally famous and have my own brand of wine too! WAH.”

    … but I really don’t want those things. I want people to read my writing and get that emotional kick in the pants that I get when I’m wringing out my brain. Maybe that’s a little too much to ask, but I’d much rather be an authentic version of me than a watered down version of someone else’s good stuff.

    Thank you for this post!

    p.s. Jes, you are gifted. Trust that.


    1. Jessica Sita says:

      Aw! Mollie, thank you!


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