Comparison – The Thief

Roosevelt said that comparison is the thief of joy, and I have to say, I quite agree.

It’s a completely different world for authors right now, to just a mere ten years ago, and now, it feels like we should be producing at least ten books a year, to keep up with reader demand. Gone are the days where you could take several years to write a book and hope to do well.

Since I began publishing properly in 2011, I have published at least 2 books a year, and I now have 16 books available. Quite an awesome accomplishment, but instead of revelling in the joy of what I have created, I find myself looking at authors who have published 50 or 60 books in that same amount of time, and wondering why I have been so lazy in comparison.

Then I saw the posts about the latest plagiarism scandal. It seems that a bestselling author in Brazil has been taking chunks of other authors’ work, and giving it to ghostwriters on Fiverr and then publishing what they’ve cobbled together and making a mint from it. She has a large list of books available, and it would seem that none of her material belonged to her.

Which made me wonder, how many of the authors with massive output are actually writing it all themselves? Or even using original material?

And somehow, this made me stop comparing myself to them. Because I know that I write every word of my books. And I know that I only write books that turn up and annoy me until I write them. And that it’s actually quite realistic to write and publish two or three books a year, when you take into account the editing and proofreading, publishing and marketing.

So although I am quite upset for these authors who have had their work ripped to bits and made into bad books that have made thieves a lot of money, I am also grateful to now have been released from this comparison game, and I plan to revel in the joy of each creation, knowing that I am producing work that I am proud of, and that readers will love, and that is wholly my own.

Do you compare yourself or your creativity or your life to others? Do you think that you should be further along, or richer, or better, because you look at what other people are doing?

Let me know in the comments.


Join the Earth Angel Series Fan Club!

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I love to create things, I love snail mail, and I love books. So I have created a 90s-style Book Fan Club for the Earth Angel Series! For a small monthly subscription fee, members will receive Earth Angel-themed packages of … Continue reading

I Hate Learning

I was wasting time in WHSmith the other day, before catching a train, and after perusing the book section (must admit, I look mainly to see what’s is popular on the covers, sad, I know) I moved onto the magazine rack. I saw lots of magazines on cameras, and there was one specifically for Nikon, to teach you how to use your DSLR properly. I thought to myself – that would be a good idea, I would like to know how to use it properly, not just fiddle about with the settings until it looks about right.

Then immediately after that thought, came another one that went along the lines of – How boring to learn how to use my camera from a magazine.

The thought made me stop for a moment, and I realised that yes, if I had bought the magazine, I would probably never read it, and it wouldn’t help me use my camera better. Because actually, I hate learning.

I hated school. I hated reading books of facts or history or data. I tried to go to university. Twice. I hated it. I hate reading lengthy articles, and the only non-fiction I read is generally self-help or spiritual or metaphysical, and even then, if it’s a bit dry or dull, I won’t finish it.

I have been trying for some time to find a course I could do to qualify in something that would give me a job or career that paid well, so I could keep doing my books but not expect the royalties to support me. But there was nothing I could think of, nothing that I could find that I knew I could stick to.

I hate learning.

However, I love discovering.

I love reading stories, novels or blogs that inspire, inform and teach me something – without trying to. I love discovering some new random fact or bit of history that I didn’t know before.

I love to discover new things from movies and TV shows, obviously, much of history in movies is skewed, but that’s okay, I still discover things.

I love to discover new information from talking to friends, from watching TED talks, from being shown how to do something, or being given random advice by a stranger.

It might seem like a bit of a pointless thing to do, to make this definition between learning and discovering, after all, they’re essentially the same thing, but for me, it has been a complete eye-opener. Knowing that I would rather discover something for myself, even if I make mistakes while doing so, rather than being shown or have to read a manual to learn – is a huge realisation for me.

I can stop looking for courses now. I can stop pretending I will ever get a boring qualification to do something sensible. Instead, I will seek new opportunities to discover new things, try new things, and allow myself to play and figure things out. I plan to visit a friend who is an awesome photographer, to get some tips on using my camera better, and how to get specific shots I really want to get.

What about you? Do you love to learn? Or would you rather discover?


The Cheltenham Mind, Body & Soul Weekend

On the 20th and 21st October (this weekend!!) I will be in the beautiful Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham. I will have a stand at the Mind, Body & Soul Weekend to sell my books and cards, and I’m very much looking forward to it!

Please come along and say hi, you can do the Earth Angel Quiz to see which realm you’re from, and not only purchase my book, but also oracle cards, bookmarks and badges!