Monday, October 7, 2013

Motivational Monday


SURE, I HAVE ADVICE FOR PEOPLE
STARTING TO WRITE.

DON'T.

I DON'T NEED THE COMPETITION.
(Robert B. Parker)

This quote made me laugh out loud. Don't get me wrong - I totally appreciate true, constructive advice from successful people. But sometimes it's just nice - and a relief! - to hear out loud what a lot of people maybe/sorta/kinda think every once in awhile. 

These words are also a great reminder that our stiffest - and best - competition is really with ourselves. Sure, on some level we're competing against other people - for promotions, for money, for awards, for recognition, etc. But we can't control a lot of that. We can't control what the guy in the next cubicle does or doesn't do, or what the woman in our writing group achieves or doesn't achieve. 

But I know that if I continue to work on my craft, to watch what I eat, to exercise, to read and learn and grow, that in six months I will be "ahead" of where I am right now. It doesn't matter if someone else is way ahead of me or if someone is right behind me. If I am better - somehow, in some way - than I was two months ago, two weeks ago, yesterday, then I have already "won." I am already a success. 

The same goes for each and every one of you.

26 comments:

  1. I have never thought of it this way before but you're absolutely right - our stiffest competition really is with ourself!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to get really down on myself when I compare myself to others, but now that I do less of that - still do it some, can't help it! - I feel better and more focused on who I am and what I can do.

      Delete
    2. So do I, Madeline. As well as being our worst competition, we're also our worst critics. You're doing the right thing and you certainly have the right attitude! You go, girl!

      Delete
    3. I just wish I had the right attitude more often than I do. :)

      Delete
  2. We are also our biggest obstacle. Doubts and fears creep in every time I think about putting myself out there. I think that's why I felt secure when I had a publisher. But now that I've decided to go out on my own, I'm terrified.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you, Jay! I think the trick is to see that when we're being our biggest obstacle, that we can do something about that. We can't always do something about other people or events etc blocking our way but I think we can do something about ourselves getting in our own way. (Not exactly sure HOW we do that, but I think it's possible....)

      And I feel the same way about releasing my story collection.

      Delete
    2. Ohmigawd, I felt the same way about my book. I procrastinated for nearly a YEAR. Finally I just said, "screw it," and I self-published it, as you know, last week. IT WAS THE BEST THING I COULD HAVE DONE. Now, take my advice, DO IT NOW. And you can hang with me and Stevie in Kindleland. Go on now, get busy. If you need help, ask me. Having just been through the process, I can help.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Cathy! I appreciate that, I really do. And I'm looking forward to sharing a virtual shelf with you and Steve. :)

      Delete
  3. HA! That's fabulous... though in leading the Naked World Domination Movement, I've come to accept that I can't take over the world by myself, so I DO hope to create some mini-mes as I go *shifty* Seriously, though. I love to mentor young writers. Part of it is sincere, and part of it is that if feels good to look back and see how far I've come on this road. Still a long way to go, but reaching back reminds me I've come a long way already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hart, giving away free t-shirts always helps get recruits. :) (Learned that from an old episode of Pinky and the Brain.) Of course, that doesn't help with the naked thing...

      You obviously already know this but, to paraphrase a great quote - as you climb the ladder of success, continue to reach up but also remember to reach behind you and help pull someone else up.

      Delete
  4. That's right - all we can control is ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome. It's so easy to get caught up in the competition, eh? But it's true: we can only measure our progress against ourselves. I, for one, am so pretty stiff competition. (But only to myself.) ;)

    Want a wedge of cheese?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's part of the problem - I'm often my own worse enemy!

      And you had me at cheese. :)

      Delete
    2. I remind myself that all the time. I always figure if someone is further along in their career than me it's because they're working harder.

      Delete
    3. I wonder if those people are busy competing with themselves? Maybe it's that they're working harder or maybe they're just working differently?

      Delete
  6. A great sentiment. It's all to easy to compare yourself with some other guy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Totally laughed at that too.

    The learning curve is totally steep those first few years of writing, but it hasn't fallen flat for me, I'm still learning and hopefully will continue to do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been writing for a long time, and I plan to continue learning and growing at the craft. :)

      Delete
  8. LOL. Makes me wonder if Mr. Parker liked to read. The more writers the more books, I say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bring on the books! :)

      Thanks for Following us here at TSR!

      Delete
  9. Madeline, I LOVED this quote! Hahaha how true! There is a saying... I don't remember exactly how it goes, but I'll paraphrase: "No matter how much you run/walked, you've already beaten all the couch potatoes." Any writing is better than none!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I love your quote! I am so going to remember that when I get down on myself for not biking farther or walking faster. :)

      Delete
  10. Ha! That's a great quote. Honesty. And your words are so true. We all need to work on ourselves, our progress, our growth, and not worry about what everyone else is doing.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete