What makes one Olympic dream more important than another? They each had to put in hours of work to get to their twenty-five seconds of competition. It’s funny that silver medals seem so bad yet bronze doesn’t. Is it the thought that “I might not have gotten one at all,” and the relief to have something to come home with.
Is it the country of origin where it’s Gold or nothing, even if you’re competing against your own teammate? They say the Chinese diving team tells their competitors who will get gold and who the silver. Ironic, since there maybe someone from another country that could beat them both. And if you’re not allowed to compete against your own teammate why would you compete against another nation?
As a writer there are different levels of competition. We compete against others in our genre and ourselves. When you ask how can you compete against yourself as a writer? You challenge yourself. You step outside your comfort zone. Each book you want to be better than the last.
Some author’s don’t follow up with a better story than their first and that could be for a number of reasons. Their first story published could have been the last one they wrote and the story that was too close to their heart was published second. We know how that goes.
What makes a great author? Is it sales? Is it five star reviews? Or is it something else. In the Olympics of writing I’m still trying to get my form. I know who I am and what my characters stand for. I always say that I’m not trying to get a “message” across in my books, but that’s because much like a little girl doing her first cartwheel I haven’t stepped back to see the foundation of a front flip.
But in writing the only true competition is with ourselves and that is something that successful writers learn. There may be only one spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list, but unlike the Olympics the top spot can change daily. We can all reach for the gold and achieve it, but we’ll only get there if we work as a team.