The "Mina Schwartz" effect (or, how to stop comparison from destroying your writing career.)

@@Frankly, I’m quite sick of women like Mina Schwartz.@@

She (or, insert other highly enlightened author/speaker/guru whose blog you follow here) represents something unintentionally daunting for the everyday writer: the idea that if you're not at her level of success, you're not a success.

She represents the plague of comparison that is sweeping across the nation due to the idea of “insta-success” that's being shoved down our throats at every turn.

I’m sick of writers coming to me believing that success is something they can buy. As if just by finding the right professional photographer or attending the right seminar, everything will fall into place, and they'll become successful by default. "That's what Mina Schwartz is doing," they say, "so it must be how I should do it".

Mina (and people like her) are probably the reason you're feeling so helpless about your writing career right now, and why, when the going gets tough, your first instinct is to throw in the towel.

You might have just realised that the dream they sold you isn’t exactly as advertised, so now you want to take it back to the store.

Like the time you published your first blog post? It was meant to go viral, right? Well, it didn’t - and now you’re all confused, thinking to yourself: “This was not how it was supposed to work. This is not how I was supposed to feel.”

@@The idea that you need to become “big” overnight is exactly what’s keeping you small.@@

Just because Mina Schwartz released 3 blog posts in the last hour complete with worksheets and an audiobook, doesn't mean that you should get all unmotivated, and not write the one or two blog posts you intended to write today.

And if it only reaches 15 people? Don't let that make you feel like a failure, or damage your ego. No one is judging you, comparing you, or assessing your achievements alongside Mina Schwartz, except you.

@@Your dream is something you have to grow into.@@

I know they say you should “fake it 'til you make it”, but that doesn’t mean wiping yourself out trying to keep up with your idols, getting into debt or losing your own sense of identity in the process.

You’re forgetting that they’ve been where you are. They’ve experienced their fair share of the failure and self-doubt that you’re experiencing right now. But they didn’t try to cheat, take the easy road, or sacrifice their authenticity. They fought hard to be the people you admire so much today.

You need to be at peace with the fact that you are where you are. That might mean that there are lessons still to be learned, or that you just haven’t figured out what your authentic rhythm is. Perhaps because you haven’t been listening.

What would make you happy to create today, regardless of what everyone else in the world is doing? Do this every day and share it with the world. That's all it takes for you to leave comparison behind, and to start enjoying the process again.

Do you have a story about comparison that you can share with me (without using names)? I'd love to hear it over on Facebook.


*By the way, just in case you're like "Geez, Steph, stop hatin' on the woman already!" She's not real. I made her up. Don't stress about it.