Teddy Roosevelt said (allegedly) that “Comparison is the thief of joy”. By comparing ourselves to others, we somehow find our own successes or projects lacking. Another term for this same idea is Imposter Syndrome. This is especially true when dealing with something we’re passionate about or the field we’re in or aspire to be in.
Writing has always been one of my outlets. Whether it’s blogging, fanfic, or original works, putting words on paper or on a screen has been therapeutic for me. I’ve had a Twitter account for a decade, but I’m not a very active Tweeter. I’m more of a lurker. Someone I follow tweeted a link to a fanfic. I let my curiosity get the better of me & went to check it out even though I don’t agree with her ships at all (shorthand for relationships). It had thousands of hits, comments, & likes. I felt inadequate before reading a single word. My story hasn’t even cracked 3000 hits. I immediately started telling myself that I had somehow done something wrong. Let’s do a quick comparison – I have never publicly linked the story via any of my social media EXCEPT here for reasons that are rather long & complicated. Her entire Twitter account is dedicated to marketing her work. I could create an entire Twitter account dedicated to marketing this story, but why? I know I write just as well as she does (I actually did read some of it eventually). I’d have to make connections in a fandom that can be extremely volatile at times & I really don’t have time for that. And by time I mean the emotional energy it takes to deal with people getting their panties in a wad over the smallest, strangest things. I’d get frustrated, abandon the account, & be right back to where I am now. Her story has all that attention because she decided that she wanted to whore herself out on Twitter (and wherever else), deal with any potential (likely) drama, & she saw results.
Everyone wants validation. It’s part of being human. We want to have someone else (or a lot of someone elses) tell us that our work is valuable & meaningful. My fic started out life as something very different than it is now. I have one very loyal fan who is constantly chasing me down for updates. Other people have read it, some even felt strongly enough about it to comment. I am not worth what other people think of me (or what I create) & sometimes I forget that.
Current Jam: “Sound of Silence” Disturbed
Twitter & Instagram: retroindiequeen
Archive of Our Own (AO3): TheHuntsmansBoss