Follow me here, but Kanye is right. In our case, though, it's much smarter to compete against ourselves.
Can you top the work you've already done? That's the mark of a writer hungry to improve every day.
2. "My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live."
Pretentious? You bet. But view this quote another way.
Have you ever listened to your prose read by you? Read by another?
(THIS LAST IS IMPORTANT since the other will not know what you MEANT TO WRITE or IN WHAT TONE UNLESS IT IS IN THE PROSE.)
Spend a few minutes doing both kinds of listening. Your writing will improve.
3. "Before, when I wanted to rap, my raps sounded like a bit like Cam'ron. And it wasn't until I hung out with Dead Prez and understood how to make raps with a message sound cool that I was able to just write 'All Falls Down' in 15 minutes."
If you're willing to admit you have a lot to learn -- and then seek out people to teach you -- that's when the growth truly happens.
4. "I hate when I'm on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like 'Oh great, now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.'"
No one is responsible for your prose but you. Take care of the sentences, and the paragraphs will take care of themselves.
5. "If you don't make Christmas presents, meaning making something that's so emotionally connected to people, don't talk to me."
What's memorable today in fiction? Creative ideas that breathe originality, compelling, riveting stories and vivid detail. A lead character you root for against all the odds.
Everything else is DOA.
6. "Nothing in life is promised except death. Know your worth!"
Ultimately, the only person who is going to fight for you... is you. You must believe in your dream before anyone else will.
The dreams that flourish in the desert are the ones watered with wise efforts and expanding skills.
7. "Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone will always be younger. But they will never be you."
What makes your prose special, different and valuable?
Focus all attention on that answer, and you won't have time to notice everyone else's fiction.