You’re so right about it being difficult, Matt. I find it incredibly challenging to write without comparing my work to others or wondering to myself, “What will they think about this?”
I think that’s why so often great writing is a result of the need to say something, the need to get it out no matter what the consequences. When we write because we genuinely feel we need to say something, we forget about what others are going to think about it. We drop competitiveness and self-judging and instead say what we need to say, straight from the heart.