I recently went to the Rocky Mountain Fur Con in Denver, Colorado. As you may know, Kyell Gold was the guest of honor. Gold is by far the best known writer of the fandom, and while he tends to direct his work to an adult audience, his style of writing is impeccable.
I accidentally stumbled into the live recording of Unsheathed’s podcast at the con. At first, I was gonna leave, but then Gold told me to sit down. I couldn’t exactly say no to him, so I stayed.
During the podcast, he said several times, “Never compete against anyone but yourself.” At first, I just ignored it, but with the repetition, I started to think. I’ve often compared myself to other writers, and with all the good writing out there, it rarely makes me happy. It’s like comparing coal with diamonds — I could get up there, yes, but it’ll take a long, long time.
Besides, not every writer is the same. I will never write like Gold, but I may end up being awesome in whatever style I use!
Envying an author and trying to be like them has caused many of us writers to put pen to paper. However, there comes a time that we need to scratch out our own initials.