Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Not a Competition

Recently, someone asked me if I was scared to have a release date near another author's release date.

The short answer: nope.

One of my friends was surprised when I mentioned other authors I knew as if they were my friends (they are) rather than my competition.

But...they aren't competition.

I mean, yes, sort of. Everything we do in life is something of a competition, arguably. We all want to be the best, or at least do our best.

But one of the great, great things about writing, especially writing in the YA community, is that there is no winner or loser. Because it's not like people can only buy one book. You can buy as many as you want! You can read as many stories as you want, you can live in Narnia and Middle Earth and Little Whinging.

When I first got my book deal, I expected other authors to look down on me a little. Tiny fish in a huge pond, new kid on the block, whatever analogy you'd like to use here. Also, I sort of expected all these awesome, amazing authors to be a little on a pedestal, or unreachable in their ivory tower. Instead, I've found that 99% of the writers in the YA community are kind, gracious, and friendly.

Because writing? It's not a competition. It's not a race. There is no winner or loser. The only person I compete with every time I open my computer and start writing is myself. When I look at my words, I don't compare them to someone else's. I compare them to mine. When I say I want to be better, I don't mean that I want to be better than Author X. I mean I want to be better than what I used to be. 

30 comments:

Rida said...

Awesome.

This is inspiration for every writer out there. And it's completely true: you're only ever REALLY competing with yourself.

Thank you.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Best. Attitude. Ever. :-)

Jodi Meadows said...

Yes! This!

K.T. Hanna said...

Thank you for sharing. Well said.

And really, do we need MORE competition than ourselves? No, because usually, we're our harshest judges.

Lexie said...

I just want to say "this" to everything you said up there. 100% true, and more people should realize this.

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

I've been to a lot of signings and all the YA authors (And adult) I've met are super sweet and they take the take the time to talk to you. They give fans their few minutes before signing another fans book.
And the majority of authors on their FB and twitter respond to each comment.

I want to publish a book I'm still writing it but I can't wait to join the pond, this post made me feel great. I love the attitude that you and other authors have, very friendly and living your dreams!

Tere Kirkland said...

This is pure gold, right here. I used to compare my journey, my writing, my blogging skills, even, to other aspiring authors, many of whom have gone on to be published authors in the time I've been blogging.

But over time, I've realized that these people are my support group, people who inform as well as entertain me, people whose work inspires me to be a better writer.

So I can't agree more with this sentiment. Thanks, Beth!

Brodi Ashton said...

Word, sister.

Gennifer Albin said...

Amen! I LOVE this community!

Cynthia Woolf said...

Thank you for the reminder. We all need this from time to time. I loved this blog.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i love that we are all like that :)

Patricia T. said...

Nice post! I love your attitude!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Love this! :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Preach it, girlie!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

We have the same release date. :) xo

Angela Brown said...

Wait, it sounds like you're saying that readers have choices and that because we, as authors, all write our own stories we can actually get along in the writing community. What? The audacity of being a cool person and sharing this with us :-)

Book Crook Liza said...

Wonderful post! It isn't a competition, you're right! I love to buy a lot of books and I like there to be A LOT OF GOOD BOOKS! :D The more, the better! :)

And you're really right - the YA author community is full of amazing people who are really easy to talk to!

Liza @ Book Crook Liza

Renee Pace said...

Great blog and I totally agree. Writing is lonely and a lot of hard work for often little payback for many. Kindness doesn't cost a cent but leaves a lasting impression.

Tina Moss said...

Writers help each other, because we're usually writers AND readers. I see no competition, and buy the books I love, the same as I ever did. Being a writer doesn't change that.

Jennie Englund said...

I agree with Shannon!

Jenny S. Morris said...

I love your attitude. In my life right now, I wouldn't be anywhere without fellow writers. They are the only ones who get me.

jldy said...

So encouraging to read! And so completely true!!

sarah elwell said...

Just wanted you to know I got your book the other day and am loving it. Thanks from a new reader.

Dana Elmendorf said...

I have to admit, when I read your blog post title, my competitive self immediately disagreed. Then of course I promptly read your post and agreed 100%. YA writer's have the biggest hearts, in my opinion, and readers DO buy more than one book. Win win for all.

Disgruntled Bear (Kate Kaynak) said...

So very true!

Anonymous said...

Excellent points and I have also been amazed at the generosity of the writing community. It's probably the only group of people I know who give to each other that way. Love fellow writers!

Eliza Tilton said...

great perspective!

BookLuvr Mindy said...

What I love is when I see around the acknowledgment area is when an author gives suggestions of fab upcoming or new releases that they love.

Maybe you can get with your author friends and help each-other out.

I agree it shouldn't be about competition. It's not like you are auditioning for the lead roll in a play, you should hope that you both are both successful.

I admire the Smart Chicks Kick It tour because that's the vibe I get from them. It's seems like they wish just as much success for each other.

Rochelle French said...

Great post, and so true. We just have to remember back to the books we read when we were young--each is like a gift.

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