Day 8: The Comparison Trap

So yesterday I blogged about the way reading other blogs interferes with actually writing on my own blog. Aside from the time factor, there’s another way it enables me to procrastinate, and that’s the way I sabotage myself by comparing myself with other writers.

If you’re a blogger, maybe you’ve done it too. You’ve read an amazing blog post (or three, or ten…) and instead of walking away inspired you find yourself shrinking inside like Alice through the looking glass. All of sudden your desire to write has shriveled into a miserable little ball of envy. I know that feeling. I see the “big” bloggers and how many followers they have, and I wonder if I’ll ever be good enough. I mean, some other writers have such an artful way of weaving words together, how could I ever hope to compete? She writes about family and she seems to have it all together, and I so do not. Her words are so inspiring, it’s like she has a direct line to God, and she’s so much more spiritual than I am. She understands and applies scripture so effectively. She’s written a book, and I’m not sure I have enough ideas to fill up a book much less the ability to write one. I’ve never had a post go viral. Her ideas are so unique! Why didn’t I think of that? No one is knocking on my door and asking me to write a guest post. Furthermore, look at her profile picture! She even looks put-together and beautiful and sweet and wise, all at the same time. And I am…none of those. Why should I even bother? I’m going to look so pitiful next to that! So I close my laptop and walk away.

This is a tough one. There are indeed many, many other bloggers out there who could be considered far more qualified to write than I am. But here’s the thing: there is NO ONE more qualified to tell MY story than ME. Yes, other writers can write quite knowledgeably about miscarriage, divorce, children with special needs, adoption, infertility, and being a working mother. But none of them can write about those life experiences (and so many others I’ve lived) from my unique perspective. And all the things God has done in my life – He has called me to write about those things, no one else. I may have one follower or I may have one thousand, but that shouldn’t affect how I write. I’m very grateful for everyone who follows this blog and for all the lovely comments I’ve had, but that’s not the way I’m supposed to measure my success. When I stand before God at the end of my life, He’s not going to pat me on the head because I had a huge online following and built a cool platform. He’s going to look at my record of obedience (or disobedience). Did I do what He called me to do? It’s my job to write what He tells me to write and leave the rest to Him. He has a plan for all of us and for some it means a big audience and for others, maybe a tiny audience. And I need to be OK with it either way.

A few days ago I actually had someone ask me how many Twitter followers and blog followers I had, like that’s what matters most in this whole blogging thing. To be honest, I didn’t know the answer. When did writing down the God-stories in our lives become a contest to see who can collect the most link-ups, comments, or retweets?

It’s difficult to swallow, this knowledge that I may never be a “bigger” blogger than I am right this minute. My human nature spurs me to try to be better and climb up the ladder of blogging success. Be more, do more, tweet more. In the end there is only One I write to please and He doesn’t care what my profile picture looks like, or how wise and spiritual I sound, or that I feel like a bad mother some days. He tells me that I AM ENOUGH just as I am, right now, and I am to keep on keeping on. I am enough and so are you.

This subject? This is the one I could write about over and over. It’s time to stop comparing. We are made for community, not comparison. (Thanks to Alia Joy for that little gem!) Comparison will poison community before it can even get started, because it’s hard to be a real friend to someone when you’re also trying to find a way to outdo her.

Whew! I’d better post this one before I start to preach! 🙂

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