When people ask me how to get their articles/essays/books published, how they can get a job like mine, how I get my ideas, or how they can write for a living, I never know what to say. I spent a long time not working on my own projects and resenting and being jealous of the creativity of others. A couple of years ago, I read the following quote:
"Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a f***load of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but, Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes."
~Dave Eggers, The Harvard Advocate
Now every time I hear that little voice in my head telling me I can't do something as well as this person or that person, or that it's going to be a long time before I'm the next Joan Didion, I respond with a simple "yes." Forget everyone else and focus on your own. Eggers is right; it is a lot of work. But it's worth it.