Comparing ourselves to others is a certain death to our confidence. Comparing ourselves to others is a form of separation and division. When we compare ourselves, we typically see ourselves in a diminished light. (Oh, I’m not as good a writer as the others in this circle). At times we may see ourselves as better than others. (Oh, I can do better than that.) Both divide you from within and without. From within you are divided from your creative and vulnerable self. From without, you have put an invisible wall between you and others.
Comparison is always a death roll. It will always diminish you. Write about that.
Instead, consider the beauty of contrast. Seeing and creating from contrast is an invitation to celebrate differences. An invitation to stay in the conversation and learn from one another or from our surroundings. Contrast is a display of variation and how differences interact and effect each other; like how light contrasts with the dark. Or how your writing contrasts with mine.
As I walked through Stewart Park yesterday, I witnessed the shadow of the trees appearing on other trees. The hoarfrost sparkled on the green and browning path. The contrasts of light and dark and shadow made my walk spellbinding.
The shadows gave character to the light. Recognizing differences from a contrasting point of view rather than a comparison point of view, will offer up more to the creative mind. If I had been comparing yesterday’s walk with the day’s before I may have missed the grandeur of this walk.
In our writing and life how can we transform our drive to compare into a beautiful contrast? Write about that?
What are the contrasts in your life and stories? Write about that.
How have you compared your present day self to the past or future self? Write about that.
How has your comparisons separated you from others? From your creative self? Write about that.
What and to whom do you compare yourself? Write about that.
How can you transform all your comparisons into a beautiful, invitational contrasts? Write about that.
Join me and other writers for my three free FIRST FRIDAYS to retreat, write, connect. First Friday's of December, January & February. On January 1st I will take you through the process of creating a writer's VISION BOARD, scripting & writing first paragraphs of your stories! Email me to sign up (room for 3 more): firstname.lastname@example.org. (Free but a donation will be welcomed.)
RISE!: Transformational Writing and Yoga:
Restorative•Integrative•Soulful•Empowering. An upcoming WINTER retreat by Molly Chanson and Julie Tallard Johnson. Save the dates: February 19th, 20th & 21st . REGISTER HERE: RISE! Join Molly and me for a unique experience of writing, contemplation & yoga.
As many of you know the writing program though the UW, Madison Continuing Studies is closing June, 2021. My FINAL CLASS offering through that program is coming up in February: The Vulnerability of Writing Nonfiction: The Threads of Autobiographical Writing Each session will have lessons on the journey and the craft of writing nonfiction. This is for those working on a nonfiction project, be it an essay, a memoir, or a blog series or spiritual teaching memoir. Each student will have their subject and theme defined along with a path to creating and developing their ideas. In Option 2, you’ll send in up to ten pages of your work for consultation and guidance and receive a 20-minute one-on-one Zoom session about your pages. 6 sessions; Feb 1, 8-9, 15, 22-23.