Posts Tagged ‘other writers’

Your Writing Competition

Especially in a tight economy, aspiring writers can’t help but think that there’s too much competition. They’re sorta right. There ARE a lot of people who think that owning a copy of MS Word and the ability to type mean they can be writers, but that doesn’t mean they’ll ever do the hard work learning writing technique to take their work to a publishable level. I started writing fiction and learning to write fiction nine years ago. Eight years ago, I attended my first national writer’s conference. 2,500 writers in one hotel, all chasing the same dream. It was both exhilarating and daunting.

I stood just outside the entry door for the first night party looking inside. It was packed with writers – some published, most not – and the thought passed suddenly through my mind “what in the world are you thinking? How can you compete with all these people?”

About that time, my mentor stepped up behind me, and in addition to being a technique genius, she must also read minds. She leaned over a whispered “Take a good look. 90 percent of them will never finish a book. Of the 10 percent that do, only 5 percent will be good enough to publish.”

It was one of those eye-opening moments for me. She hadn’t just drastically reduced my competition – she’d eliminated it.

You see, even if all 5 percent of those writers wrote a publishable book at the same time as me, an editor who loved their book and my book, would buy both. There really is no competition. There may be a lot of unprepared writers clogging submission channels and agent/editor appointments at conferences, but they’re not going to hinder you in publisher any more than the 5 percent who are good enough to publish are. Your only competition is with yourself. And getting the first book sold is just the beginning. There is no “arrived” or “set” or “done” in publishing. With every book you must strive to be bigger, better, greater, more passionate, more ______, than you were in the book before.

So don’t let the figurative competition sway you from your dream. You, your keyboard and your imagination are the keys to your success!