It’s easy to feel down in the dumps when you see others drafting like speed demons or revising with glee. Especially when each word of a first draft feels like pulling teeth or revising gives you an ulcer.
Sometimes it can feel like it's not even worth striving towards the next step because everyone else already got there first. That their way of writing is best and since you can't do it their way, you'll never make it.
I think all of us feel like this at some point or another. And no, it doesn't necessarily go away when you finish that draft/get an agent/sign a contract. How can we help comparing ourselves to other writers? It's a tricky, steep path at every stage of the game; naturally we look to others to gauge our progress.
But here's the thing: you are uncomparable.
That's right. There's no one else like you. No one who writes the way you do. No one who will have the same path as you.
This isn't a race; it's a marathon. What matters is crossing the finish line - at your pace and in whatever way is yours, be that running, skipping, cartwheeling, or crawling.
So if you start getting down because you fear you're not measuring up, take a moment to remember that this journey is yours. Own it. Treasure every misstep and stumble, and most importantly learn from them.
MarcyKate Connolly writes middle grade and young adult fiction and becomes a superhero when sufficiently caffeinated. When earthbound, she blogs at her website and spends far too much time babbling on Twitter. Her debut upper MG fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, will be out from HarperCollins Children's Books in Summer 2014.