Everything is subjective. Even progress.

Creativity (c) Margan Zajdowicz

There are very few things in this world that aren’t subjective on some level. Off the top of my head the only thing I can think of is math. 2 + 2 pretty much always equals 4.

The problem is that we try too much to standardize our world, but I think by doing that we’re only causing more problems for ourselves. Especially in creative fields like art, music, writing, etc. We try to measure ourselves against someone else’s successes and failures, but that’s impossible to do in any profession. Especially writing.

Maybe that “overnight” bestseller has been a work in progress for the last fifteen years as the author agonized over every syllable. Maybe that author who only writes a book every two years is taking care of an elderly parent and three small children and is lucky to get any time at all to write. Maybe that debut author who ended up with a major motion picture deal has a cousin who works in Hollywood. Maybe the author who releases three books a year is an agoraphobic who can’t step foot outside their own house.

The point is, you don’t know unless you know the person behind the story, so judging them based on what you see in their book or on their website or in articles is only going to hurt you. It’s hard to remember this sometimes when you read about someone’s good news and you’re stuck in the same place you’ve been for years. It’s hard to remember this when you’re struggling to find the time to write twenty words a day and someone else is putting out three books a year. Creativity and progress are highly subjective areas of our lives, but as writers that’s what we’re dealing in every day. The best way to do this is to set our own standards and benchmarks and judge ourselves based solely on whether or not we meet our own goals, not someone else’s.

On another note, you can now add Sing, Sweet Nightingale to your To Read list on Goodreads! And, personally, I call that progress. 😀

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