Over the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing a few of my top tips on how to be an unstoppable writer, a topic I’m extremely passionate about because I firmly believe that mindset is everything when it comes to achieving our writing dreams.
I’m back this week with another tip but before I dive in, here’s a summary of what’s been covered thus far:
To be unstoppable…
- Establish Clear Goals
- Don’t Just Think – Take Action
- Don’t Be Driven By External Things
- Never Stop Learning
- Never Arrive
- Be True to Yourself
- Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
- Work on Your Mental Strength
- Overcome Negative Thoughts
This week’s installment gets a tip all to itself because it’s just that important, as I’ve seen far too many people (in both the writing and the fitness world) become crippled by comparison and self-doubt, both of which are often rooted in jealousy. I hope you find what follows helpful for your unstoppable writing journey!
Never Be Envious of Others’ Accomplishments
Social media is a blessing. It enables us to learn, connect, and communicate with others instantaneously. And an added bonus for introverts like myself, we can do all of that without leaving the house!
But social media also has a dark side, and I’m not just talking about the incessant political Facebook rants and procrastination-perpetuating cat videos. I’m talking about that detestable, joy-sucking four-letter word, “Envy.”
Stoppable people take one look at another’s success and stew over it rather than celebrate it. Because they’re unsure of their own talent and potential and fearful they’ll never have the kind of success or joy they see splashed across Twitter and Instagram feeds, stoppable writers feel threatened by the triumphs of fellow artists.
Joanna Penn uses a term that I think we’d all do well to memorize and repeat often: Co-opetition. The idea behind this clever portmanteau is that instead of viewing other authors as competition, we should see them as friends and partners with whom we can build healthy, mutually beneficial relationships.
Unstoppable writers embrace co-opetition by seeking ways to promote other writers besides themselves. They host authors on their blogs and podcasts, retweet their tweets and repost their Instagram photos. When they have time, they read and review their books and spread the word about them. Why? Because building rapport with writers will only help your career, not hurt it.
Call it karma, call it good vibes or reciprocation. The fact is, the more you reach out to encourage, advocate, and assist other writers, the more likely they’ll be willing to do the same for you.
Envy will, as the Book of Proverbs says, “make the bones rot.”  It will paralyze your creativity by preoccupying your brain with thoughts of comparison, resentment, and inferiority. It will prevent you from forming meaningful friendships and instead trick you into thinking that every author remotely similar to you is an enemy.
Can I fill you in on a little secret? There are approximately a bazillionty readers on the planet, more than enough to go around.
So what if other authors are doing well in “your” genre?
So what if they have more followers, fans, and newsletter subscribers?
So what if their book is ranked higher than yours on Amazon?
That’s great for them, and it’s great for you…really! It proves there’s an audience hungry for the types of stories you love to write. It demonstrates that there is a generous and big-hearted community eager to get to know you and your books. It shows you there are awesome writers out there with whom you have a great deal in common!
Unstoppable writers tell their egos to take a hike so they can see be “co-opetive” instead of competitive with others. They genuinely enjoy seeing others grow and flourish as artists and entrepreneurs. They do so because they realize that no matter how similar other authors may seem to them, they’re still one hundred percent unique, filled with one-hundred-percent original stories and an inimitable writing style with which to tell them.
Unstoppable writers are confident in their one-of-a-kind superpowers and marvel (no pun intended) when they see others’ powers in action.
 Proverbs 14:30