Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Tips to Help Writers Fight & Win the Comparison Battle

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel
  • “Why did she get a book contract before me when I’ve been writing longer than she has?”
  • “I sent the retreat committee my topics and video clips, but they chose a much younger speaker with almost no experience.”
  • “Our books were published the same month, yet his already has 300 Amazon reviews and I haven’t even hit fifty yet.”
  • “I don’t understand why I wasn’t asked to return as faculty when John serves at the conference every year.”
  • “I love rooming with my friend Jane at writers’ conferences, but it’s hard when she tells me every night about the editors and publishers who are interested in her projects.”
  • “We have the same publisher, but they spent a fortune on her marketing and I was pretty much left to fend for myself.”
Don’t do it, friend.


Because it is simply a dead end.

Personally. Professionally. Spiritually.

God has called you to follow Him, glorify Him and further His kingdom through the unique story you are living and sharing.

And you have this promise: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)

“So, Cindy, if we already have ‘everything we need’ then why do we not see the fruit of our labors—the speaking engagements, the numerous blog followers, and the published books?”

I don’t know. But God knows why. And He also knows how and when He will use you to touch people with your message. Can you trust Him for that?

Because it will be your message, not hers. 

A chance to live out the grace you received as a free gift. Paul challenged us with “What do you have that you did not receive?” “Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point in all this comparing and competing – you already have all you need.” (1 Corinthians 4.7 MSG)

Grace-filled writers and speakers know this hard lesson. We were created, redeemed, and sustained in order to live our unique story – yes, with all the mess, mistakes, meanderings, miracles and even mundane magnificence.

Those who need to hear/read it will be put in our path by a sovereign God.

Her success does not mean my failure.

There’s enough ministry to go ‘round. Some of it will be very public and some will be virtually unseen. But it’s all worthy, when done in the name of Jesus Christ.

Every time we compare our writing and speaking with someone else, we are in danger of believing the lies of rejection—that our own life and message is not important. I assure you, this is a universal dilemma. Author Lysa Terkeurst’s new book “Uninvited” has spent the past four weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list as a testimony to the hunger for healing in this area.

You are not alone.

My friend Jennifer Dukes Lee assures us that everyone suffers from comparison. “The person you’re measuring your life up against? She is measuring her life against someone else’s. And someone is comparing herself to you! It’s a whole cycle of comparison that doesn’t end until someone says enough is enough.”

Okay, I’ll say it, “Enough is enough!”

Here’s how I fight the comparison battle:

  • Truly believe that I am loved and chosen by God. 
  • Obey what He is calling me to do and be. Write and speak my own passion and message. 
  • Encourage, promote, and lift up that other sister or brother in Christ who is seeking to live their message. I go first. I pray to be a generous and grace-filled person. 
You were not created to be her.

Isn’t that a relief? Now, go forth friend, and seek to become the very best version of yourself, by God’s grace. He has already given you “everything you need.”


Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping you Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the author of 15 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her award-winning books include LIFE-GIVING CHOICESSOUL STRONG (2020), DWELLING PLACES (2017 Christian Retailing BEST Award for Devotional)ORDINARY GRACES  (2018 Selah Finalist), LIVE THESE WORDS, and Refresh! Lucinda, a member of the REDBUD WRITERS GUILD, received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs for The Write Conversation, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog and (in)courage. Whether co-directing  “RENEW ~ RETREAT FOR NEW ENGLAND WRITING,”  pouring into young mamas, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. Lucinda’s favorites include tea parties, good books, laughing friends, ancient prayers, country music, cozy quilts, musical theatre, and especially her family scattered around the world doing amazing things.  Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, she writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at https://lucindasecrestmcdowell.com/ Follow Lucinda on Twitter: @LUCINDASMCDOWEL

1 comment:

  1. LOVE "Her success does not mean my failure." Everyone needs to read this excellent post and take it to heart. Thank you, Cindy.