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.