This is not a competition

by juliusmsanz

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to read and write something that made a lot of sense.

In the realm of the arts there is no competition.

You can strive to make a good work, you can pursue perfection every single day, but that doesn’t make your work a best-seller. Sure, the more you work on your painting or sculpture or book, the better it may become, but don’t expect it to gather a huge amount of attention out of nowhere.

These words might seem bleak, but I don’t see them that way, I see them as a freedom of sorts. In the end you are only competing with yourself. You are not writing to destroy another writer, you are not publishing a book to make sure it sells more than another author, you are writing and getting published for yourself, to either have a bit of popularity or making money or just to get something done. You can compare a couple of books and decide which is better, but you won’t give a book an award if your an average person, you won’t make a statue to honor the writer. And the writer doesn’t work expecting that.

Writing books for instance is not a huge race against time, we don’t have to submit an article by tomorrow, or review this film in a couple of hours. You don’t have to compete for space or popularity. Some of us have deadlines, but steady work ethic will assure you that deadlines are met without trouble.

Then comes the matter of sales and money.

And there is still no way to determine a victor, because most of us know that just because something sells better it doesn’t automatically translate into becoming or being a superior work. Some books and authors only get their due respect decades after the work is done. Sometimes the authors are already dead and only then we recognize how great they were. Most writers barely make any money in the first place.

This is connected to a post I’m going to write tomorrow, because I feel that there are plenty of misconceptions surrounding writers, big-name writers at that. In fact let me start writing a little bit about it right now:

Don’t look at writers like Stephen King or Goethe or Orwell and feel tiny or like you will never reach their level.

That is the biggest amount of BS I hear sometimes. Writers who suffer from an inferiority complex. “I can never be that good.” That is a lie, my friend. Do you need to put up the work and the research? Hell yeah! Will you spend countless hours developing your stories? It can get to the thousands. Either one of those guys I mentioned is just a person, you too are a person. And what that means is that every single person can achieve success and become good.

See you all tomorrow, have a great day!