Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Brenda Maxfield

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Brenda Maxfield, one of my IRWA friends, is here for Week 3 of the Writing Advice series. She has some great tips to add to this topic!

Welcome, Brenda!

No Comparison!

I’m delighted to be here today to share with you. I’ve learned so many helpful writing tips over the last few years from my fellow authors. Their wealth of information and wisdom has been inspiring – and has kept me from digging a hole and throwing myself in more than once. Ha!

(For example, how many of you have ever formatted your own books? If so, then you know exactly what I’m talking about…)

As I think about all the tidbits I’d like to share, one in particular stands out, and here it is:

Don’t compare yourself to other authors. Don’t ever judge yourself by peering into the lives of other – and should I say, more successful – authors.

Learn from them, of course! Be inspired by them, you bet! But bemoan your progress, or lack thereof by looking at someone else’s benchmarks, is simply not healthy.

Writing is not a competition. (Something that is perfectly clear when one notes how generous authors are in sharing and giving help.)

All of us know that writing can be solitary and lonely, and if we exacerbate that with constant comparisons, we can put ourselves in a funk faster than a dog chasing a mail truck. (Hmmm. Silly analogy, but you get the point!) Keeping ourselves focused on our own goals and successes helps the words keep flowing and helps us stay sane.

So, I’d like to encourage all my fellow writers! Please compare yourselves only with yourself. Set your goals. And remember to pat yourself on the back with every step forward. Heck, pat yourself on the back for every so-seeming step backward, too, because you are still moving! You’re still working at it. You’re still emerging as the author you are.

Next time you make even the smallest of progress, grab that bit of dark chocolate and take a tasty munch. Look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a big toothy smile.

You are on your way. And nothing (least of all, unfavorable comparisons) can stop you!

Brenda's Bio:
My passion is writing! What could be more delicious than inventing new characters and seeing where they take you?
I'm a teacher so I spend most of my waking hours with young people. I love chatting with them and hearing their views on love and life. My students are magical, and I am honored to be part of their lives.
I've lived in Honduras, Grand Cayman, and Costa Rica. Presently, I live in Indiana with my husband, Paul. We have two grown children and three precious grandchildren, special delivery from Africa.
When not teaching, I love to hole up in our lake cabin and write -- often with a batch of popcorn nearby. (Oh, and did I mention dark chocolate?)
I enjoy getting to know my readers, so feel free to write me at: Join my Newsletter Gang and get the latest news, contests, releases: Visit me to learn about all my books and some smart and sassy, clean teen reads: Happy Reading!

Other Links:
Goodreads Author Page:
Amazon Author Page:
And if you’re interested in books for tots:

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!


  1. Replies
    1. And, sometimes, the hardest to follow, Liz!

  2. Great post, Brenda! Thanks, that's advice I need to take to heart.

  3. Thanks so much, Liz and Nan. And Mellanie, I agree - falling into comparison can happen in a flash. If I'm aware of it, it's easier for me to know it off! ha! :-)