Why You Should Never Compare Your Journey To Others

Thursday, 11 May 2017
Why You Should Never Compare Your Journey To Others

"Good artists copy, great artists steal."
-Pablo Picasso

     For as long as I've known what a blog is, I've wanted one of my own. The first blog I ever read was Amy Flying A Kite. My sister showed it to me several years ago, and I did, and still do, think it's one of the best blogs I've ever seen. I love the poetry. I love the photography. I love how the whole thing is like curated flashes of a perfect life. Everything is beautiful, and I find myself wishing every time I visit her blog that I could live such a rustic, artistic Canadian existence.

Of course, I had to start my own blog. If you write about living an amazing life, it follows that blogging will make your life amazing. What I never accounted for while starting my blog was just how hard it was going to be. There are expenses. You need skills. With the kind of blog I want to mimic, photography and writing skills are particularly important, as well as picturesque shooting locations, interesting outfits, and whimsical musings. My blog intake has increased since then, and now there's a handful of bloggers I admire and would love to emulate.

The problem with that is I am still a novice blogger, and I cannot produce the same results as those who have been honing their skills for years. I still just want something beautiful to call my own, but don't want to put in the time and wait for the culmination. And what's worse, the more I strive to chronicle a perfect life, the less I enjoy it.

So what can we do when we feel this way?

When I feel frustrated, I think of this quote by Ira Glass:

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is a gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions."

I ask myself weekly if blogging is worth all the work and stress if I'm not even happy with what I create. I wonder if I should just delete my blog and focus on life. But I still really just want to make something beautiful. Sure, it's hard, and the payoff is going to take a long time if it ever comes at all. But I've always been stubborn, and I think at this point I'm in it for the long haul.

As far as imitating others goes, my blog may never look like anyone else's, but in the end, maybe that will be okay. Maybe just like Amy Flying A Kite, or the other bloggers I love, I'll end up with something that's uniquely, beautifully, and wholly my own. And I hope if you're a blogger or an artist of some other kind, you keep on working until you find that identity of yours, that thing that is all your own, and measures up to all your expectations.

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