Play with words
I find first drafts terrifying. One way I ease in is to tell myself I’m simply experimenting with language. Give yourself permission to approach writing playfully, whether you’re working on a “real” piece or simply collecting words that pique your interest. Enjoy the rhythm of words, poke at meaning, stretch old metaphors into something new. Your writing will benefit from it.
Avoid the comparison game
This is probably one of the hardest bits of advice to follow but one of the most beneficial to your writerly well being. There are so many ways to get sucked into comparing, from measuring the number of blog followers you have against a friend’s to tracking the amount of time it took others to secure agents. It’s easy to think once you’ve “arrived” with a book deal, these worries fall away, but they don’t: there will be friends with bigger deals, with more push from their publishers, or better reviews and general buzz. Envy finds us at every level.
Choose to see your writing journey as yours alone. It’s not something anyone can do for you; there’s no way your experience will mirror another’s. Just like we all have something unique to contribute to the literary world, we all will go through different struggles and triumphs.
The only thing you will get out of the comparison game is disappointment.