The Most Important Thing To Remember As A Writer

I recently joined Twitter, a social media I’d avoided because I didn’t need another thing feeding my procrastination habit.

Upon joining, I found a wonderful world of fellow writers, agents who let you know what they’re looking for, publishers, and pitching competitions where agents come to you (provided they see your tweet).

I also discovered any originality I thought my manuscript had, and my dreams and goals as a writer, are the same as everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m special, and I knew there were a lot of writers in the world and we all have the same desires, it just wasn’t as obvious until I saw it tweeted out with hashtags every second of the day.

The realization you’re a common fish in an increasingly small pond is enough to induce both writer envy and a chronic case of self-doubt (as if you didn’t have it already). So, how do you not give in to that voice now asking why you’re bothering? You remember the most important thing about being a writer is that…

The only Writer You Have To Be Better Than Is Yourself.

Be better than the writer you were yesterday, last week, last month, last year, whatever year it was when you first put your pen to paper.

It’s great that social media and the writing community gives us a glimpse at what others are up to, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, that doesn’t matter. The only writer you should compare yourself to, try to be better than, try to improve, is YOU.

It’s a hard thing to remember when you’re in the submission trenches, endlessly editing, or wading your way through some less than stellar beta feedback. But if you love what you’re sending out. If it’s the best you can do. If you worked hard to get it to that level. If you are still going after being rejected multiple times, you are doing a great job, my friend.

Concentrate on what you can do to improve how you write. Celebrate the milestones of putting your work into the hands of others. Embrace the rejections and the feeling you’re shouting into a void that’s already echoing with other voices. Because if you’re doing all of that, you’re working toward your goals. Then, when you do reach what your writerly heart is set on, you’ve got yourself the biggest and best bonus. One that is worth tweeting about.

— K.M. Allan

You can find me shouting into the void on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

33 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing To Remember As A Writer

  1. I have just joined Twitter too.

    Although I agree that there is nothing new under the sun. Every topic had been discussed to exhaustion already.
    Every topic has been written about already. But it has not been written by you or me.
    When we write truthfully, being ourselves, we infuse some of our own personality into our writing. This gives old topics a fresh perspective.

    When I resumed writing after nearly 25 years, my articles were rejected by the two editors I submitted them too. That is why I started my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true about putting our own personalities and perspectives into our work. You’ve just got to hope that it’s good enough to set you apart 😅. Congrats for returning to writing after such a long break.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What great advice, Kate ❤ You are so right, and it really is the most important thing to remember. I enjoy the twitter community too – everyone is so supportive and interesting. But you can totally see that when agents say "I receive hundreds of submissions a week" they aren't exaggerating! Another wonderful post 🙂 thanks for sharing xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ruth Miranda

    the more and more I read about writing and other fellow writers the less I consider myself a writer, the less I want to be one, the less I want to publish anything. it’s not even a case of comparing myself to others, it’s simply a realisation of what the market favours, what readers enjoy, and coming to terms with the fact that I will NEVER be able to provide that. So it doesn’t really matter if today I’m a better writer than yesterday because I will never be the kind of writer audiences prefer. I simply do not want to write like that, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I joined Twitter in January.I decided when I joined I would surround myself with fellow writers. I did pretty much what you did. That was the smartest move I made. I chose my crowd and by doing that we all understand the success and the struggles.

    I think I’m following you. Yes, that still sounds weird. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s right, Rebecca. I agree with you that that’s the best way to look at it. If you’re getting rejected it means you’re sending your stuff out and hopefully getting closer to the elusive yes. Much closer than the writer who never sends anything out. Thanks for reading 😊.


  5. Twitter is a really great resource! Lately I’ve been struggling with the fact that it’s also kind of negative? It has some energy that I don’t vibe with, and I usually feel drained instead of rejuvenated. That said, your tip totally helps. It’s important to remember that only you can tell your story. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome to the information fire hose that is Twitter. You’re totally correct about not comparing. In my experience Twitter is best used for focused communication to agents, publications, etc. and for having fun discussions about writing and books. Over time the downsides I’ve noticed are writers mostly seem to follow other writers, not readers (unless you’re King or J.K. Rowling), and then they just want to talk about politics. The “lists” feature is a great way to filter the noise and make it a more useful and manageable experience. Followed!

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