Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Comparative Writing

Mark 15: 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

I need to make writers aware of a trap that they are setting for themselves and need to be cautious before you get snared and wind up getting a foot cut off or something. Okay, maybe not that drastic but still, there are ramifications.

I have no specific person in mind here, I am thinking generally as a writer. Have you ever compared your work to anyone? All my life, I was compared to this one or that one. My sister always said, “Well Joni, this or Joni that.” I lived in the comparative world always being compared to something or someone.

I fought my way through the layers so that I would stand out on my own, and I think anyone who knows me, that is the one thing they will attest to, “Joni has a personality all her own, yup, the girl is unique!”

This is what I try to bring to my writing. I don’t want to be compared to someone else. I know I’ve covered this topic before, probably on individuality, but I’m here again to say, “Don’t compare your work, to someone else's!”

When I write, whether it is poetry, or a story. My words are my own. They carry their own weight and are as unique as a thumbprint, my thumbprint. My mother told me last night that my aunt had called and asked how I was doing, did my mother tell her? No, she said she didn’t say anything because my aunt was just being nosy and wants to know my business. I said, tell her, I have nothing to hide. “Well she just wants to know if you’re working,” (here’s the money thing again with my family) I said, “Did you tell her I’m a writer, writing my heart out every day? That life is a struggle but we get through with a smile and I fall asleep at night in peace knowing we’re in God’s hands?”

Ha ha ha! She didn’t want to hear that. She’d rather lie and say she knows nothing. (There I divulged ANOTHER truth, my mother likes to lie her way out of a paper bag. Am I ashamed? Not at all. She is who she is, I am who I am, and I thank God everyday that HE molded and shaped me and taught me right from wrong.

So here again, compared to my brothers I have nothing. Compare me to my sister I have a little, compare me to anyone and the trap is set for Joni to break. But guess what? When we compare our writing to another persons work, it is only us that is going to get hurt. Not the other writer. No one is perfect but we are all individual. We have our own unique voice that will carry echoes through the valleys and give our ancestors something they can hold onto.

Joni’s kid will say, “My mom was one of a kind.” To him, I’m a living legacy and that is all matters to me in life. It isn’t what I do or have, it is what thumbprint I leave behind.


Stormcrow said...

I wish someone would compare my writing to Stephen King. :P

joni said...

Why I compare you to Stephen King all the time!
Oh, your writing. Oh okay. :P

Ana said...

I disagree entirely with the main point in your post.We are always comparing ourselves with others and others are also comparing themselves with us.It's human nature.Besides,I am told, the writing world is very competitive so one,the writer,must be very careful.
Feelings are very powerful emotions and sometimes can demotivate you so much that you may give up whatever it is you are doing.


joni said...

Ana, You're allowed to disagree. In my country it is called Freedom of Speech, and by all means, you are free to speak out on my blog. :-)

I on the other hand will NEVER compare my work with Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Keats,or Dickenson. You see, the point is, that would be setting myself for heartbreak because I am a unique person. I can not and never will be either of the above writer's because I am setting a path to be my own individual writer and in turn will make my own mark in the world.

There is no place in the writing world for 'feelings' because yes, it will demotivate you to never wanting to come back.

If I let feelings of what others have said or done to me, get in the way of continuing my writing, I would not be the woman I am today. A unique person who holds her head up high and lets all the bad stuff roll of my shoulder. :-)

All with the Grace of God

Ana said...

Good luck, then.