Please do not mistake my confidence for arrogance. I know I am not "there" yet. I still have dues to pay, mistakes to make, and hard lessons to be learned. I have legitimate ambition, not delusions of grandeur. Despite countless Facebook ads that suggest otherwise, I know there is no "Easy 5 step program that is guaranteed to have you on the NYT's Bestseller list." (insert eye roll). In fact, I fully expect to scale this mountain barefoot, over a bed of hot coals, in the middle of a tornado. I embrace the challenge, and I'll gladly take my lumps (with a glass of red to soften the blow) because I know my journey will all be worth it in the end.
That's the rub, though, isn't it. It's MY journey, and like many of you, I'm just getting started.
Sometimes I forget that part. I see how far others have come and I start to wonder...We left at the same time. Why did they get there first? I get a glimpse of the finish line and I'm bouncing in the back seat. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? The logical part of me knows this is a waste of my energy, that comparison is the thief of joy, and so on. I know that my final destination is not indicative of the road I've traveled or the detours that lie ahead. I have no doubt that I will get there, it's simply a matter of how and when, and I know that the only person with the power to get me there is me.
Why, then, do we authors constantly torture ourselves by comparing our journey to that of others? We spend so much time scrolling through the perceived successes of others, that we become blind not only to our own accomplishments, but the pain and sacrifice that likely went in to another's. All we see are results-- So-and-so just released their sixth bestseller in a year...that girl you didn't get along with in high school lost 40 lbs...John Smith just signed a movie deal with Warner Brothers. We see the harvest and forget about the hard work that went into the growing the crops.
Reality check. Those people we idolize, whoever they are, whatever they've accomplished, they worked to get where they are. They've been where we are. They have likely been rejected as much as (or more than) they've been rewarded. They fell down eight times and got back up nine and they have done amazing, awe-inspiring things. Guess what? You will, too.
Cut yourself some slack, already. This is your beginning and it's not fair for you to compare it to someone else's middle. You have this. You really, really do, but you have to keep moving, keep fighting, and keep believing you will get there. Some day you will look back on this time and smile. Some day you will be someone else's Meredith Wild, or Colleen Hoover, or Tarryn Fisher. That someday could be tomorrow, or in ten years, but it's there. It's waiting for you at the end of whatever broken road you travel. Just do yourself a favor and stop worrying about where others are going and keep your eyes on the road ahead, so you can get to your someday in one piece.