Wynn-ing Ways: How to Overcome Comparison and Procrastination in Your Writing

How comparison and procrastination are linked

Have you been reading these articles and wondering what to do or how to apply them?

Do you feel like you procrastinate on this work?

Maybe you’ve been comparing yourself to some go-getter author who’s been reading these articles and implementing ideas weekly to build a publishing powerhouse while you’re left thinking, I’ll never get ahead.

Eighteenth-century philosophers believed that idealized achievers existed, but only in a remote part of our brain that can become over-agitated.

They believed these thoughts were generated in your comparisonium, a portion of your brain that holds all your thoughts of inferiority. The treatment in those days was brutal and had a low survival rate.

You are cursed blessed with an active imagination. It is the source of your creativity. When ideas don’t come fast or scintillating enough, we can fall into a downward spiral. Your imagination is linked to your comparisonium, and the result can be a severe bout of comparisonitis and procrastination.

But just like imagination can be a force for good or bad in your writing life, it can also have the same power in your business life. These articles are your Call to Action, challenging you to build a brand that others identify with and a business system that is functionally different from the one used by 90% of the authors in the market. This is a big, fun undertaking that can be overwhelming at times. Daunting tasks like this have been documented as the precondition and potential cause of comparisonitis and procrastination.


It takes time and creativity to formulate a plan around these concepts, then pick the small part you can begin with that fits your budget.

Procrastination is a label applied when we urgently want to get something done but don’t know how to get the result we want. Think about it. Once the muse is with you, the ideas and words flow. But when your muse is on hiatus…

Most solve this problem by setting deadlines and forcing work out. You know on a gut level that your best ideas aren’t yet formed. But you need to get something (anything) out.

So you give it a go.

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The first press just gets the juice out. In winemaking, the first press is pretty nasty. It’s got stems and skins. It’s not wine yet and may not even be good grape juice.

It’s what happens after the first pressing that determines the quality of the wine. The fermentation and chemistry is what transforms grape juice into an award-winning vintage.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve shown a high level of determination. I’ve not made it easy. There have been thousands of words, complex ideas spanning several articles, and slews of stories about gamblers, casino operators, my kids, and my parents. You’ve had hoops to jump through, like surveys and click requests, each one asking for your renewed dedication.

This all shows a level of commitment that can be the momentum you need to get to the other side of your Wynn-ing Way.

Are you looking at this whole series and thinking you might have to reread it over and over for all of this to sink in, then figure out what to act on?

That just may be the case. This is dense stuff, fundamentally different from what you get in the Six Secrets to Publishing from today’s guru du jour.

If that’s where you are, go ahead and reread the material, then squeeze the first juice.

As a creator, there is always tension and questioning that leads to hesitation. In winemaking, that first pressing is all you get that year. You work with the juice you have.

You’re told that publishing is about grit, hustle, and determination if you want success.

But let’s unpack that…

The message of hustle contradicts some of the other entrepreneur platitudes, like “failing forward.”

How do you hustle and take time to learn from your mistakes?

How do you hustle and take time to form a new idea?

If you’re anything like me, the tension of all this bubbles into your unconscious. The ideas resonate with you. You know that you can improve your business model on some level but aren’t sure where to start. That tension creates anxiety, which can inflame your comparisonium and manifest as procrastination.

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If the folks reading this article were in the same room, you would see your fellow authors nodding along with you. All this business and marketing stuff overwhelms them, too.

I was recently at NINC, and an author said he subscribed to my newsletter, but sometimes, the stuff goes over his head. Determination alone keeps him coming back.

I’ll tell you what I told him—just email and ask me to break things down. We can’t lose any ships out in these uncharted waters. I’ll help you navigate them.

And the same goes for you, dear reader!

Another tension creator is that what you read here directly conflicts with what others say has been the right way—a problem as old as human communication itself.

Remember John Harrison from earlier articles? He was the eighteenth-century guy who figured out that you could determine your longitude at sea by using a maritime clock and measuring the sun.

Because the powers that be didn’t believe that a clock could be the solution to the longitudinal problem, he had to fight for years to get the money and recognition.

Everyone assumed you had to navigate by the stars. So much so that the committee included Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal, as a member.

I wonder if Nevil had an open mind about the solution.

Fast forward to today, the clocks in the GPS satellites include calculations using Einstein’s theory of relativity to assure accuracy. When Einstein wrote his paper on relativity, he was challenging Newtonian physics. He was seen as a usurper of classical physics. Later in life, Einstein became the status quo and challenged the theories of quantum mechanics.

Abandoning what everyone takes as gospel to go out and explore and create is another reason you feel tension.

It takes tremendous courage to be out past the edge of the map.

People will express skepticism. Their criticism may lead you to wonder if you should go back to running with the herd.

The experts and gurus will say that you’re crazy! But they have too much invested in the status quo to question the premise. They are like Nevil. Let them get shipwrecked while you ride the wave of creative destruction to success.

Sometimes, the opposite of a good logical solution is an even better, more creative, illogical solution. Today’s logic-driven, information-based ideology leaves little room for the creative.

Your solution will come out of you. Give yourself the time to contemplate and get your creative juices flowing.

Start simple. Consider: What experience can you deliver to readers who are tired of being treated like checkbooks?

Now squeeze that juice.

Still feeling troubled? Let me share a secret…

While twenty-first-century neuroscientists are using fMRI technology to finally locate the comparisonium, I’ve developed a comparisonium and procrastination suppressant. Hint: You’ve just been exposed to it.

As you read, did you notice how the phantoms were chased away, and you became more sure of a path forward?

You may need to continue to reread this article if your comparisonium is severely inflamed and procrastination chronic. That’s OK because you have the solution right in front of you.

I can’t share the secret of how I developed the word recipe. Just know that even after we finally identify the location of the comparisonium, the solution will remain the same. Trust your creativity and give it time to manifest. When in doubt, get that first squeeze of juice, then make the best of what you’ve got.

Crank that creative press!

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