After strolling around the internet, I began to find articles addressing this, even though I wasn't looking (In our family, we call these events, "God-things." Don't you just love when that happens?) And surprise, surprise: I'm not the only one. Our very own Laura talked about self-doubt and its close cousin, self-comparison, here. And Tabitha Caplinger talked about jealousy here. Why are these fantastic, gifted writers struggling? Why am I? I could blame social media (which, let's face it, is a daily in-your-face view of what everyone else is doing). Or I could blame my sin nature, which is probably more at fault.
I want my fellow authors to do well and touch hearts. I know my books won't speak to everyone. That's why God calls people of all different stripes to write stories. But I'll see someone succeeding and wonder, "Why didn't that work for me? What am I doing wrong?"
A few things have helped as I continue to struggle through this. I've found immersing myself daily in the joy of writing makes me forget to keep track or compare. That joy is one of the reasons I write. There's nothing like the satisfaction of finishing a fantastic scene or page of dialogue. That magic makes me thankful for the ability to do so. I've also begun to wean myself away from the multiple checking of social media. Once in the morning and once in the evening, and then I'm done. If doubts and inferiority begin to grab hold, I remind myself, This story is God's book. I've done the best I could. From here on out, it's all Him. It's amazing how that thought erases the feelings of failure or jealousy. The successes and perks I see others getting? They aren't for me. God hasn't prepared me for them, just like they aren't prepared for the gifts I've received or the journey I'm on. The realization of having a journey that is mine alone helps, because it's another assurance that God's got this.
I don't believe this struggle is only experienced by authors. Anyone can suffer from self-comparison and jealousy. When we realize our journey is specifically different, one designed just for us by the Great Creator, we can let go of the jealousy, the self-comparison, the self-doubt, all the feelings that cripple us. And we can soar.