Time after time, I get these spurts of inspiration about an idea or topic and go into full-on drafting mode. I pump out word after word and pour my heart and soul into an article that I care so deeply about. Then, I finally hit the “Publish” button and feel an immediate sense of accomplishment.
I re-read everything to myself, become so immensely proud of what I created, and think to myself “Wow, this is really a good one.” Until suddenly, my feelings of euphoria are short-lived only to find that someone else has written about the same exact topic, covering nearly the same exact bullet points, except they executed it ten times better than I did and received way more likes and engagement than my article—It was overall just better. They had more elaborate details, more concrete examples, and a much more eloquent flow.
I eventually get so down on myself that I seriously consider never writing again because I wonder,
“What’s the point of writing this if someone else is just going to essentially write the same article a few days later?”
It’s this whole conflict of comparison that really gets me. In the back of my mind, I know that there will always be a better Writer, or a better article, or a more successful person.
However, thinking this way is exactly what will be my downfall. It will be the thing that puts an end to doing what I really love to do just for the pure joy of it — And I don’t want that to happen.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” — Theodore Roosevelt
On Medium (and honestly, anywhere else on the internet), there will always be overlapping content where one magazine, journal, or publication publishes an article that has already been written about by other numerous sources. But, regardless of the similarities in topic, the similar arguments, or the similar references, you still can’t dismiss the fact that you wrote what you wrote, not anyone else.
Someone else may have covered the same exact topic, but not necessarily in the same fashion or from the same perspective. Someone may have come up with the same arguments, but that just means that there are other people that agree with you. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
You see, this is the whole point of writing and creating — To evoke emotion, to make people feel, and to allow people to be able to relate to one another. It’s about connection. And being able to connect with one another through doing something that you love, such as writing, is what makes the world seem a lot less lonely.