They avoid comparisons
“Comparison is the thief of joy,” said someone who was probably not Theodore Roosevelt or Mark Twain, but who made a really good point nonetheless.
In virtually every aspect of life, someone is going to be better than you and someone is going to be worse than you. If you measure yourself against others, you’re not only going to be miserable—you’re not going to be doing your best work to continually improve and grow.
It’s not just about measuring quality or success, either.
It is so easy to look at how other writers work and compare your process against theirs. It doesn’t help that so many writers share their processes as if they are the only correct way of doing things.
Social media is full of writers telling other writers how to work:
Write every day.
Write for at least two hours straight or not at all.
Set a daily word count goal and hit it.
Draft as quickly as you can and don’t look back until the draft is done.
Wake up at the crack of dawn to write first thing.
I cannot do any of those things without sacrificing my sanity or the quality of m y writing. It took me way too long to realize that it’s ok. We all have different brains and different learning and working styles. There is nothing wrong with you if the typical writing process advice doesn’t fit into your life.
I didn’t write any fiction that I liked until I stopped forcing myself to other writers’ methods and processes.
Fast drafting doesn’t work for everyone. Rigid routines do not work for everyone. Word count goals do not work for everyone. Not everyone can write every day. Not everyone has the ability to form coherent thoughts before seven in the morning. It’s fine.