“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Keeping up with the Joneses

Keeping up appearances

Keeping up with… you know

But is that really a good use of your time?

As a creative, sometimes you’re going to be way ahead and sometimes you’re going to be way behind a trend, an innovation, the crowd, a host of things.

That’s the artist’s lot in life. It will feel lonely at times, but please understand you’re not alone. Others have been (t)here. The problem is it won’t seem that way.

So your job is to focus back on what makes you happy. What you find important or intriguing that feeds your creativity and happiness.

When you start focusing on where you compare to others, your joy and your art will suffer.

It may start small. A number of creatives hide behind gossip, snarky comments or, making other people’s business their business.

Too often I’ve seen writers know the business of other writers, who will analyze what another writer should have done, criticize his or her work, belittle their efforts while creating nothing.

Others, keeping up with technology, have fifteen different social media accounts, but after many years when readers ask when their next book will be out, they can only say “I’m still working on it.” Of course that’s not true. They’re busy, but not creating.

The outside world needs you to focus on the noise. That’s a way they can keep you compliant. Be part of the herd. Keep your head down. Do what you’re told. Be like everyone else (although ‘everyone’ doesn’t exist).

“Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they’re not trying to keep up with you.”
Erma Bombeck

Please never compare your inner world with someone else’s outer world.

You don’t need to keep up. There will be some things you know and some things you don’t. Some goals you’ll achieve and some that will take longer.

Life is not a race, it’s an exploration and we all have our own path and pace.

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“Forget Keeping Up” © 2016 Dara Girard; Image copyright © 2016 by 123rf/Jesadaphorn Chaiinkeaw

My latest non-fiction title, 10 Things to Forget: to be Creatively Free was a blast to write. On this blog, I’ve been writing on topics that didn’t make it into the book and others I’ve expanded on. You can read some other posts here.