Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Writers

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There are stories published in books, and stories that have never been published. There are stories that have been read by more people than live in Kansas* and there are stories that have been read only by you, the writer. Don't compare yourself to others.

Don't Compare Yourself to Others

There are also stories that have never been written. Stories only you can tell.

Fiction or nonfiction, the stories you write are unique to your experiences and your creativity. But if you compare yourself to others, you might never write them.

Someone may have written a memoir about their father. The book might have __ 5 star reviews, and be on the New York Times bestseller list. So why would you write a story about your father? You might think, “It has already been written.”

You are wrong. A memoir about a father has been written, but the story of your father has not been written.

When I was twelve, my father taught me how to skin animals. I wasn't old enough to babysit yet, so I couldn't earn any extra money from taking care of the children of family friends. My father paid me to skin the animals he trapped on his trap line. (He trapped with permission from the game warden, and with permission from the farmers, who were protecting their livestock.)

This story has never been written, and unless I write it, it never will be.

Comparing Your Writing to Other Writers' Is Dangerous

The danger of comparing your writing to another writer is it might prevent you from writing your own story.

The value of a story does not lie in how many people have read the story. Before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published on June 26th, 1997, before J.K. Rowling found a publisher to accept her manuscript, before the story was written, it was just an idea for a story about a boy attending a school of wizardry. 

The manuscript for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was a good story even if only J.K Rowling had read it.

What if Rowling had compared her character to Frodo Baggins from The Lord of The Rings? What if she had compared her writing to J.R.R. Tolkien and felt her writing wasn't as good? “This story will never sell. Why should I even bother to write it?” 

If Rowling hadn't written her story, if she had given up at the eleventh rejection notice from a publisher, we wouldn't have been able to meet Harry Potter.

Yes, yes, I know, the Harry Potter books have sold millions and millions of books, and not every story that is written will be as successful as the Harry Potter books, or the Lord of the Rings books.

However, there is always room for another hero.

And why not the hero that you write?

The world doesn't need another J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolkien; the world needs you. Don't compare yourself to others. Keep writing, and write like you.

All Writers Start Somewhere

A baby learning to walk cannot be as fast as Hicham El Guerrouj. He had been walking and running for twenty-five years and seven days when he broke the world record for the mile at 3:43.13 in 1999.

A writer starting to write will not write with the same quality as Stephen King, who has published more novels than there are states in the United States.

A baby first sits up, then crawls, and then takes the first step. And after the first faltering steps, they walk, and then they run. Babies fall down while they are learning to walk. Writers start with words, then sentences, paragraphs, and then a final first draft. And after a first draft, they edit. Babies fall while learning to walk, and writers write first drafts while completing a story.

Don't compare yourself to others.

Did the sentence you wrote this morning sound better to you than the sentence you wrote yesterday?

Do you ever compare your writing to another writer? Does it make you want to quit writing? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

Today for practice, I want you to compare your writing. I want to you to compare your writing to something you wrote before.

First, find a piece you have already written. It might be a section of your work in progress you wrote months ago, a story you have not looked at in a while, or a practice you wrote for another post here on The Write Practice. The older the piece you choose, the better.

Now, take fifteen minutes to rewrite the piece. How would you tell that story now? How would you approach that idea?

When you are done, share the original and your new version in the comments below. How have you changed and grown as a writer? How can you see other people have grown? Please remember to leave feedback for someone else so we can all encourage one another and grow together.

*2.192 million people live in Kansas according to a 2015 census. Over five million people have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Pamela writes stories about art and creativity to help you become the artist you were meant to be. She would love to meet you at pamelahodges.com.

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35 Comments

  1. Aditya Singh

    This article elucidated exactly what was going on my mind today. I felt the chapters that I write are somewhat shorter than a general novel. I thought I can’t make it to publish my first book. But I’ll just stick on to it and improve my description of events. Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      Hello Aditya Singh,
      Bravo! Yes, keep writing, and improve your description of events.
      Tell you story, write your chapters. Tell the story only you can tell.
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
  2. Nwogu Maxwell

    Thank you for the post.

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      You are very welcome Nwogu Maxwell,
      May you write the stories only you can tell.
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
      • Nwogu Maxwell

        This is heart warming. Now i really understand it better. Am just the peculiar ‘me’ and i got stories that no one can tell better but me. Thank you a million… I got your message embedded deep within me beyond the reach of any mortal …You’ve given me a a life line.

        Reply
        • Pamela Hodges

          A life line for a writer is something to hang on to.
          Wishing you all my best,
          Pamela

          Reply
  3. Victor Perez

    Ive been meaning to post several different projects I’ve been working on but never feel satisfied with my work so here goes nothing.

    Broken peices of brick, hot metal fragments, and bullets rapidly flew in every direction. Piercing sounds of automatic machine guns reaking havoc accompanied by the nonstop sporadic explosions from heavier artillery had flooded our eardrums indefinetly. In the distance, hushed but violent shrieks of agonizing pain arising from our enemies could be heard. It was organized chaos. Our allied forces were advancing succesfully into enemy territory. We were determind to come out triumphant. Determined to avenge our fallen brothers who had courageously layed down their lives for our cause. Determined to eradicate every and any trace of nazi idealism along with the vermin who supported it. Determined to wage war against the evil that loomed upon us. It was March 7, 1945, when we, the US 9th Armored Division, were on the brink of capturing the infamous Ludendorff Railroad Bridge at Remagen, between Koblenz and Bonn, Germany.

    What once was a peaceful and thriving city enriched with civilian life was now nothing less than a vast and desolate wasteland. An abundance of wreckage that was left behind. Hundreds of German Panzer’s and US Sherman’s layed dismantled and destroyed admist the war torn fields. Lifeless corpses laid mangled on the broken concrete bloodied and disfigured beyond the point of recognition. For miles, towering plumes of thick black smoke arose from the remainings of townhouses and properties that had caught on fire. Building structures that once stood profound had been reduced to mounds of dust and rubble from deadly airraids that showered cities with destruction over and over again.

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      Hi Victor Perez,
      Here goes more than something! Thank you for sharing your writing. Your opening sentences clearly describe the chaos of the fighting. The addition of sound made the scene come alive more.
      Well done Victor.
      Keep writing. Your words matter.
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
      • Victor Perez

        Thanks for the feedback, its greatly appreciated!

        Reply
    • S.J. Siedenburg

      Just from this clip the story is powerful. I could see the destruction in your second paragraph. Thank you for sharing! And I hope all your projects go well!

      Reply
      • Victor Perez

        I’m glad that I was able to paint a picture for you with this piece and I am grateful for the positive feedback, thanks!

        Reply
  4. Larry

    I haven’t taken time write anything but I want to share another analogy. What peaked my interest is this. This morning I was presented with the same thoughts on the radio of all places. When I was younger and healthier I used to play golf with a passion! I loved the game so much that I never for a minute had a thought that I would quit because I couldn’t play like Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer. I loved the game too much. If you love writing you will never quit or compare yourself with others. I’m not great at writing, and I might never be published, I don’t care if I’m never published, I write for the pleasure it gives me.

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      Hi Larry,
      Thank you for sharing your analogy. Your perspective is very helpful— To write, or play golf, for the pleasure it gives us.
      To love to write too much. 🙂
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
  5. Lynette

    This post could not have came at a better time. I’ve been toying with the idea of not finishing my daughter’s story the last two days. Her story needs to be told and I’m the only one that can do it. I’m struggling with starting again from scratch, this will be draft #9. Every time I have started over her story has improved. I had high hopes in finishing her story by the end of Aug. Now I’m thinking it will be finished by the end of Dec. Writing this comment is helping me to see that I do need to rewrite again even if it is the ninth draft. The story is in honor of my daughter that I love more than life itself.

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      Lynette,
      Your love for your daughter is very clear in your comment. I hope you do finish. I hope you keep writing until all the words in your heart are on the page, and readers can see the heart and soul of your child.
      One of my friends wrote 45 drafts of a piece that was published on NPR.
      My favorite book that is helping me write Memoir, is “The Memoir Project” by Marion Roach Smith. I wrote an article with tips from her book on TWP. Here is the article, if you would like to read it. I hope the tips help you finish your story.
      https://thewritepractice.com/19-tips-on-writing-memoir-from-the-memoir-project-by-marion-roach-smith/
      Please let me know how you are doing.
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
      • Lynette

        Hi Pamela,
        Thank you for restoring ‘Hope’ in completing my story about my daughter. I printed the writing tips and ordered Marion’s book, as well as, viewing a YouTube video about writing memoir’s from an interview Marion gave. The video was insightful! It was called “Writing Memoir With Marion Roach Smith.”

        Reply
  6. TerriblyTerrific

    Thank you. I feel bad if my writi doesn’t look like others. I think, “They must be better than mine.” I also think about how unique my writing is by what people say. That makes me feel better.

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      Hello Terribly Terrific,
      I love your name. Your writing sounds terribly terrific too. I don’t know why I compare my writing to other people. It keeps me from writing too. Writing about the dangers of comparing helps me see it is okay to be me.
      And it is okay to be you.
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
      • TerriblyTerrific

        Awwww, thank you so much. I totally, terrifically terribly agree!

        Reply
  7. Bisma Bakhtawer

    This is so true…ok so I will share a poem I wrote a month ago but only the edited version because the first version was really very “unsharable”

    I identify I tried
    And I know I have cried
    I hunted for the truce

    I sought completely through
    But wherever could have I found ?
    You kept me downright bound

    I identify I tried
    and I know I have cried
    I rummaged in your eyes
    Through the ghosts of your lies
    I touched out for the truth
    And lighted up like a match
    The truth was such it broke me down
    In such a state with no repair

    Like a fire there I stood
    In the terminating afternoon
    Goosebumbs stood up firm
    And you stormed in the midst of twilight
    Folds of lumps in my neck
    Now there was only regret..

    I identify I tried
    and I know I have cried
    Soon the fire extinguished behind
    I was left like ash at night
    Then the wind blew on me
    I flew… a bit juvenile

    I identify I tried
    And I know I have cried
    Chances after chances you had
    It was smooth wasn’t it
    I identify I tried
    I know I have cried

    Reply
    • Pamela Hodges

      Bisma Bakhtawer,
      The repetition of “I identify I tried” is so strong,
      This verbs are so strong in each section, they give the poem movement and make your poem very dynamic.
      hunted
      sought
      rummaged
      touched
      lighted
      stormed
      identify
      cried
      Thank you for sharing.
      xo
      Pamela

      Reply
      • Bisma Bakhtawer

        Thanks

        Reply
    • LilianGardner

      Hello Bisma Bakhtawer, I like your poem. You make me feel your anguish.
      Best of luck!
      Lilian

      Reply
      • Bisma Bakhtawer

        Thanks

        Reply
  8. S.J. Siedenburg

    This message is always something I need to hear. I find that in all areas of life it is easy to compare myself to others. It takes a lot of reminders to not compare yourself with those around you. We are all unique, and our competition is with ourselves. Does anyone have a way through which they remind themselves of this weekly or daily?

    Well here is my writing! This was written, I believe, a little more than a year ago.

    Previous:

    I knew it was coming. They drag me out into the street, two men in brown clothes. I try not to resist, but my panic overrides me. My parents and siblings are being segregated toward different trucks. I catch the terror in the eyes of my little sister. “Jace!” she screams.

    “It will be okay!”

    I know it won’t.

    I will never see them again.

    It is chaos on the street. I recognize the neighbors who I don’t talk to, and see their fear, a perfect image of myself. The sky is grey as it has been for two years, a perfect metaphor to what life has been like.

    I am herded into a group of kids around my age—boys and girls about seventeen years old. I wait in the group for further instruction, or manhandling.

    A brown suit cinches a zip tie around my wrists, a zipper closing the gap of freedom. I am lifted and pushed onto the floor of feet in the back of a semi-truck. Tied hands help me sit up.

    The door closes and the darkness consumes. There is no light. It is a cave filled with whimpers, whispers and breathing. A rumble commences and there is movement. Movement of sways, bumps and jolts.

    It is quite. Surprisingly quite. No screams. No exclamations. Only fear.

    Revision:

    The belted orders and pleading screams came from outside the window. I held my sister close, trying to comfort her heaving cries.

    “It will be okay, Reilly. Just do what they want and you’ll be fine.” I kept my voice steady, pushing back the burning lump rising in my throat as I lied.

    The banging began on our door. Even if there was a place to run, it was too late.

    Dad went to the door, passing a sorrowful look into the wide eyes of my mother. He turned the doorknob, and immediately two men stormed in wearing black service gear.

    The first man held an assault rifle which he trained on us, and the second approached my dad and secured his wrists with a zip tie from a cluster on his belt. He pushed him outside, and then went to my mom and did the same. She held her head high, refusing to shed a tear.

    Then he came to us. He grabbed Reilly, and she tightened her grip on me.

    I unlatched her arms from my waist. “Hey, you gotta let go. Everything’s going to be fine.”

    She looked to me, tears falling down her cheeks. I smiled, trying to pass on the last bit of my strength to her as my eyes burned and my heart felt like it would explode. She turned to the man and he tied her wrists, like she was a threat to him.

    He grabbed me next, and the man with the rifle faced me alone. He wrapped the plastic around my wrists and pulled out the slack as was his daily routine. I winced as the white strip cut into my skin.

    He grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the door, and I froze. My stomach knotted, and I wanted to cry and vomit at once. But he pushed me back into reality. I lost my balance by his shove, but he held me on my feet.

    Outside on the porch I faced a man with a tablet. He scanned his screen, but I looked behind him at the army of black clad people herding my neighbors into groups, restraining the panic-stricken ones with force.

    He looked up from his tablet. “That’s all the recruits registered here. Take her out.”

    I was pushed forward again, this time prepared for the imbalance. We entered the street. I searched for Reilly, for mom or dad, but there was nothing. Then a scream sounded that I recognized.

    “Reilly? Reilly!” I saw her being picked up and put in a white moving truck. “Reilly!” I needed to get to her, but the man grabbed both my arms. I fought against the pain, but she was gone. A dead weight fell in me, crushing any resolve I had left to be strong. Tears wetted my face.

    I was in front of my own white truck, and all my natural instincts kicked in with a snap. I tried to fight with all my strength, my pounding heart stealing my breath. I couldn’t get in that truck. I couldn’t be taken away.

    More arms squeezed me and lifted me up, and dropped me onto the steel floor between rows of feet. More hands pulled at me, but these were different. Their hands were tied and sweaty, pulling me up onto a spot of the bench against the wall.

    A scraping, growling sound erupted as the door rolled down on our prison, and there was black darkness.

    Reply
  9. shiwangi agarwal

    This is exactly what I needed to read. I just started writing my first short story yesterday as much as I love my story idea I fear that my writing isn’t that good. I might not do justice to it… But now all I’ll do is write.

    Reply
  10. Saren

    ~ Hey everyone! I’ve been receiving tips from “The Write Practice” for a long time now but this will be my first time posting some of my own work! Yikes! Intimidating! Haha, but here it goes. This is a short story I wrote to an hour of sad piano music. I hope you all like it! ~

    There was no way this was happening. I hadn’t done this. No. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. There was no way.

    “Why God?!” I heard myself shouting to the sky as the body of my husband lay limp in my tiring hands.

    I didn’t mean to. This couldn’t be real. I can’t live without him. Couldn’t it have been me instead?

    I needed him. Here. Alive. With me. Beside me. Holding me. Not the other way around. I loved him.

    Suddenly, I heard them. I didn’t want to. I wished I could close my ears and just forget. But instead, I picked him up and began to walk. As fast as I could. Tears and blood ran down my face.

    Trees passed me at a blurry pace until I couldn’t hear them anymore.

    I dropped onto the ground. Stars shone down through the trees at me. They were beautiful. They were alive. But he wasn’t. I cried.

    Silence floated through the woods and brushed past my face in a soft breeze. I breathed it in raggedly. I wiped my face and sniffed. Swallowing, I shoved myself onto my aching legs and looked around me. I was next to a small pond and fireflies drifted throughout the quiet, leaving reflections on the dark and starry surface.

    I laughed and cried at the same time, then fell onto the grass again, unable to keep myself up. Tears fell onto my palms as I stared at the scars left there.

    Never again. I would always hold onto the memories I had without letting them go. I never would try to forget like I used to. Never.

    Suddenly, as if by some miracle, I heard a shuffle from the direction of my husband’s body. I sniffed. He wasn’t moving. He was dead. I knew that. There was no more hope.

    But the noise continued until I saw the yellow eyes of a wolf in the darkness. Its teeth were clenched onto the collar of his shirt and I struggled to my feet.

    “Get away!” I said, hoarsely at first, my throat too dry to shout. But the animal then began to drag the body through the trees. “Stop!” I managed to scream as I staggered through the woods, attempting to follow the beast in my haze and sorrow. I fell against a tree in exhaustion and hopelessness but the wolf stopped dragging him and looked up at me. Its eyes waited patiently until I stood straight again, walking toward it. Then, it started again. I began to get angry, desperate.

    “Stop! Please!” I yelled, hoping, just wanting the animal to drop him and leave. But it continued, stopping every time I did and waiting till I continued after it. My legs kept me from running to him. Stupid legs. I needed to get to him. Finally, in one burst of breathless adrenaline, I lunged at the thing. It jerked slightly then yanked the body quickly before I could reach it. I stopped and continued to walk, sighing as tears began to fall again.

    I watched in sadness as he was dragged along, his hands banging against jutting roots and rocks, and the blood from his wound stained the grass in a path I followed.

    I followed his blood when the wolf rounded a corner. I followed his blood when he was dragged over a hill and I could not see the other side. But every time, it waited. It felt like eternity before the animal stopped, released the collar and stepped back. I wanted to hit it. Hurt it. Kill it for what it had done to my husband. But its yellow eyes held what looked like pity. I stared at it for some time until it dropped its head and disappeared into the woods. I waited in silence, waiting to see if it would come back for its prey. But it never returned.

    I walked to the body and fell onto my knees next to it. I stared at his pale face remembering the day I first saw it. It was so alive and handsome then. Not at all like it was now.

    Suddenly, I felt a presence behind me and I looked up to see another wolf, a different one. It looked at me, its eyes boring into mine until it turned and walked to a pond not far away. And it was then that I realized that it was injured. A bloody, red gash lined the wolf’s neck and front leg as it limped to the edge of the water. I watched as it leaned down painfully and began to lap up the water. It then turned and began to walk back into the forest. I shook my head but then stopped. The wolf was no longer limping. No more blood marked its neck or leg. It was healed. Completely. I couldn’t believe it. No. This wasn’t possible.

    Suddenly, my eyes fell onto my husband’s face and I shot to my feet. I carried him to the edge of the pond and laid him down tenderly, cradling his head in my hand. His once perfect brown hair was now messy from the wolf’s drag through the forest and I longed to see it as it was before. I stroked his face, wiping mud and blood from his forehead, then reached into the pond, pulling up a small hand-full of the liquid. It looked like any normal pond water. Muddy and gross. But faith was worth a try.

    So, I tipped the liquid into his parted lips and prayed. I dropped my head onto his chest and clasped my hands together.

    “Lord,” I said, my voice shaky with fear and possibly excitement. “I need your healing right now. My spirit, needs it. And I need to have faith in you, that you will do your will. I pray that I will have the strength to be okay with whatever your plan is. So, if it is okay with you, please save my husband. I know you can do anything so…”

    Suddenly, the body beneath me began to rise and fall. I sat up, eyes wide. His chest was heaving and he shot up, heaving the contents of his stomach into my open hands, then fell back down onto the grass. I quickly wiped my hands on the grass then placed one on the side of his face. His eyes were not open.

    “Are you alive…?” I whispered softly. He didn’t move.

    “Maybe.” He replied, opening his eyes to meet mine. I screamed in joy, thanking God for his faithfulness and hugging him. We sobbed together and laughed at the same time. When I pulled back to look at his face, blood was pooling in his mouth and he spat off to the side. Worry filled my eyes as I looked at him. He smiled wearily. I smiled back. Then he dropped down onto the ground again and I realized that the arrow was still embedded deep in his gut. I gasped and reached for it.

    “Please,” He said, catching my hand. “Don’t.” He looked at me the way he did on our wedding day and I burst into tears. He was going to die. This was just goodbye.

    Tears ran down my cheeks and he wiped them away.

    “I love you more than life.” He said.

    Then all was still.

    I sat back on the grass and stared up at the sky. Tears were falling but so were smiles.

    “Thank you God.” I said. “For the goodbye.”

    Then I stood and headed home.

    The end.

    Reply
  11. Rakhi Sharma

    wow..that’s such a motivational post. This thought that “I can never write like others” keeps ringing in my head all the time. I am sharing a short story which I wrote a couple of years ago, however, when I read it now I feel I could have written it better.

    A Stranger Friend

    As soon as my exams got over, I decided to visit my elder sister in Pune for a relaxing break and also to escape the frosty winters of Delhi. Since I was traveling without my fun loving brother Rahul, I knew it was going to be a long boring journey for me.

    While I was waiting for the train, zillions of thoughts clouded my mind and one of the most distracting ones was “who all would be in my coach?” I had already cleared the first test of my patience level when the train arrived one hour late at the platform. As soon as the reservation charts were pasted on the train the anxious passengers rushed towards them to check their seat numbers. Somehow, I also managed to make my way towards the train and inquired about my coach number.

    Thankfully I had a lower berth with a window. The upper birth was occupied by a guy (who was boasting about his achievements as an advocate) and the opposite berths by a Russian couple. The guy looked like a WWF player whereas the girl was very dainty and had a pale and flawless complexion. She greeted me with her generous smile and instantly made me feel comfortable and relaxed. She leisurely lay down on the upper birth and her left hand was slipping on the glossy paper of a diary. I wondered what she was she writing about!

    While traveling in trains in India it’s not necessary but required to interact with your co passengers. As it was day time the person at the upper birth cannot put his seat down unless the person at the lower berth is fine with it or it’s time to surrender to sleep.

    Mr Advocate was sitting next to me and was looking for a perfect opportunity like a hawk to talk to that Russian girl. Since he could not directly strike up a conversation with her so he started off with impressing his boyfriend. He asked them where they were going, where were they from, what did they like about India and what they didn’t? I could easily make out from the girl’s expression that she was not enjoying that conversation at all and wanted him to just zip his mouth off. She kept looking at me and tried to tell me through simple gestures about how annoying that guy was. Then with a wee smile I told her to ignore him.

    Later, she told me she was going to Goa to celebrate Christmas with her partner. And she loved traveling India, loved the beauty and the people but not the ones like him. I didn’t realise how time passed away quickly.

    Her name was Olga and she hailed from St Petersburg. She was not fluent in English so she preferred explaining things through gestures. Nevetheless, we had long discussions about books, politics, India, Russia, food, parents, siblings, love life, and marriage. She told me she was very fond of Hindi movies and absolutely enjoyed watching “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”. Then we exchanged our iPods since she wanted to listen to some Hindi songs.

    Following day when I woke up we were about to hit Pune station. I noticed Olga was sitting opposite to me and was busy penning down something in her diary. We had almost reached the station and I could see my brother in law anxiously peeking in to coaches and trying to figure out where I was. I walked towards the door and bid adieu to Olga’s boyfriend.

    Oblivious to my departure, Olga was still engrossed writing in her diary. The moment I stepped out I saw Olga following me and requesting me to stop. Her eyes were wet with tears. She gave me a tight hug and handed me a tiny piece of paper.

    She told me how much she enjoyed my company. I introduced her to my brother in law and she greeted him with a cordial Namaste. Since the train was about to leave, Olga once again gave me a warm hug and stepped back in to the train. After the train had left I opened the piece of paper that she had given to me. What was written in it gave a lump in my throat.

    “My Dear R,

    I really had a wonderful time with you. You are my first friend in India. And you made the journey so easy and interesting for me. When you reach home please write a mail to me. Should you ever plan to come to St Petersburg, do let me know. I would just be a call away from you. I will miss you :)”

    She had penned down her home address, her telephone number and the email id at the end of the note. It was not just a piece of paper but one of the best gifts I had ever received from someone. I had not thought a mere stranger would become such a good friend in an overnight journey. Olga had indeed made my trip to Pune a memorable one.

    Reply
  12. Deepthi

    I like the topic because I always compare the kind of my friends’ writings and I am just a beginner towards writing……

    Reply
  13. John Hamshare

    Thank you for igniting the fuse of enthusiasm at a time when I happen to be editing some short stories written when I first took a serious interest in writing over 20 years ago.

    Reply
  14. Saren

    ~ Hey everyone! I’ve been receiving tips from “The Write Practice” for a long time now but this will be my first time posting some of my own work! Yikes! Intimidating! Haha, but here it goes. This is a short story I wrote to an hour of sad piano music. I hope you all like it! ~

    There was no way this was happening. I hadn’t done this. No. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. There was no way.

    “Why God?!” I heard myself shouting to the sky as the body of my husband lay limp in my tiring hands.

    I didn’t mean to. This couldn’t be real. I can’t live without him. Couldn’t it have been me instead?

    I needed him. Here. Alive. With me. Beside me. Holding me. Not the other way around. I loved him.

    Suddenly, I heard them. I didn’t want to. I wished I could close my ears and just forget. But instead, I picked him up and began to walk. As fast as I could. Tears and blood ran down my face.

    Trees passed me at a blurry pace until I couldn’t hear them anymore.

    I dropped onto the ground. Stars shone down through the trees at me. They were beautiful. They were alive. But he wasn’t. I cried.

    Silence floated through the woods and brushed past my face in a soft breeze. I breathed it in raggedly. I wiped my face and sniffed. Swallowing, I shoved myself onto my aching legs and looked around me. I was next to a small pond and fireflies drifted throughout the quiet, leaving reflections on the dark and starry surface.

    I laughed and cried at the same time, then fell onto the grass again, unable to keep myself up. Tears fell onto my palms as I stared at the scars left there.

    Never again. I would always hold onto the memories I had without letting them go. I never would try to forget like I used to. Never.

    Suddenly, as if by some miracle, I heard a shuffle from the direction of my husband’s body. I sniffed. He wasn’t moving. He was dead. I knew that. There was no more hope.

    But the noise continued until I saw the yellow eyes of a wolf in the darkness. Its teeth were clenched onto the collar of his shirt and I struggled to my feet.

    “Get away!” I said, hoarsely at first, my throat too dry to shout. But the animal then began to drag the body through the trees. “Stop!” I managed to scream as I staggered through the woods, attempting to follow the beast in my haze and sorrow. I fell against a tree in exhaustion and hopelessness but the wolf stopped dragging him and looked up at me. Its eyes waited patiently until I stood straight again, walking toward it. Then, it started again. I began to get angry, desperate.

    “Stop! Please!” I yelled, hoping, just wanting the animal to drop him and leave. But it continued, stopping every time I did and waiting till I continued after it. My legs kept me from running to him. Stupid legs. I needed to get to him. Finally, in one burst of breathless adrenaline, I lunged at the thing. It jerked slightly then yanked the body quickly before I could reach it. I stopped and continued to walk, sighing as tears began to fall again.

    I watched in sadness as he was dragged along, his hands banging against jutting roots and rocks, and the blood from his wound stained the grass in a path I followed.

    I followed his blood when the wolf rounded a corner. I followed his blood when he was dragged over a hill and I could not see the other side. But every time, it waited. It felt like eternity before the animal stopped, released the collar and stepped back. I wanted to hit it. Hurt it. Kill it for what it had done to my husband. But its yellow eyes held what looked like pity. I stared at it for some time until it dropped its head and disappeared into the woods. I waited in silence, waiting to see if it would come back for its prey. But it never returned.

    I walked to the body and fell onto my knees next to it. I stared at his pale face remembering the day I first saw it. It was so alive and handsome then. Not at all like it was now.

    Suddenly, I felt a presence behind me and I looked up to see another wolf, a different one. It looked at me, its eyes boring into mine until it turned and walked to a pond not far away. And it was then that I realized that it was injured. A bloody, red gash lined the wolf’s neck and front leg as it limped to the edge of the water. I watched as it leaned down painfully and began to lap up the water. It then turned and began to walk back into the forest. I shook my head but then stopped. The wolf was no longer limping. No more blood marked its neck or leg. It was healed. Completely. I couldn’t believe it. No. This wasn’t possible.

    Suddenly, my eyes fell onto my husband’s face and I shot to my feet. I carried him to the edge of the pond and laid him down tenderly, cradling his head in my hand. His once perfect brown hair was now messy from the wolf’s drag through the forest and I longed to see it as it was before. I stroked his face, wiping mud and blood from his forehead, then reached into the pond, pulling up a small hand-full of the liquid. It looked like any normal pond water. Muddy and gross. But faith was worth a try.

    So, I tipped the liquid into his parted lips and prayed. I dropped my head onto his chest and clasped my hands together.

    “Lord,” I said, my voice shaky with fear and possibly excitement. “I need your healing right now. My spirit, needs it. And I need to have faith in you, that you will do your will. I pray that I will have the strength to be okay with whatever your plan is. So, if it is okay with you, please save my husband. I know you can do anything so…”

    Suddenly, the body beneath me began to rise and fall. I sat up, eyes wide. His chest was heaving and he shot up, heaving the contents of his stomach into my open hands, then fell back down onto the grass. I quickly wiped my hands on the grass then placed one on the side of his face. His eyes were not open.

    “Are you alive…?” I whispered softly. He didn’t move.

    “Maybe.” He replied, opening his eyes to meet mine. I screamed in joy, thanking God for his faithfulness and hugging him. We sobbed together and laughed at the same time. When I pulled back to look at his face, blood was pooling in his mouth and he spat off to the side. Worry filled my eyes as I looked at him. He smiled wearily. I smiled back. Then he dropped down onto the ground again and I realized that the arrow was still embedded deep in his gut. I gasped and reached for it.

    “Please,” He said, catching my hand. “Don’t.” He looked at me the way he did on our wedding day and I burst into tears. He was going to die. This was just goodbye.

    Tears ran down my cheeks and he wiped them away.

    “I love you more than life.” He said.

    Then all was still.

    I sat back on the grass and stared up at the sky. Tears were falling but so were smiles.

    “Thank you God.” I said. “For the goodbye.”

    Then I stood and headed home.

    The end.

    Reply
  15. liz

    I used to coach children bowling. One saturday there was a bowling contest of sorts. One team of 7 yr olds had just started bowling that year. They bowled against 12 yr olds who had been bowling for several yrs. They started out defeated. I explained that they really were bowling against the older boys. Points only counted for improvement on their previous week’s scores. The older kids were “better” but they had no improvement. The younger boys all improved about 20 pins and won. It put a whole new slant on the game.

    Reply
  16. Debra johnson

    When I first wrote my first story I was in high school back in 84ish and recently reread it. I could tell it was done by someone just learning. Even though the story was good the other things needed work. So after reading it I began rewriting it with a new title and new direction, while the story itself is the same the telling of it is different. I love it.

    Reply
  17. Cori Leigh Mann

    Great post Pamela! It has encouraged me this morning!

    Reply
  18. Tinthia Clemant

    Sometimes when I reread something from my past I cringe and wonder ‘How the heck did I think it was any good.’ Life is about learning and growing, but sometimes holding back until perfection is found can be wrong too.

    Reply

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