No “Rivals” Here

If this anecdote is accurate, despite all of her success someone was still wildly insecure about her talent:

[Screen capture of Twitter.]

I remember my uncle telling me he avoided reading manuscripts sent to him – mostly by acquaintances who wanted to write and sought advice. He might read a few pages, but wouldn’t read them in full because it meant less time for his own writing – which is what he would tell those seeking his opinion. It had nothing to do with being fearful of stumbling on some undiscovered genius who would prove to be a “rival.”

A good writer, he once told me, will attract readers – the only question, really, is how many. I’ve adopted essentially his view. In the past, yes, I’ve joked about my “competition”:

[A July 2015 screen capture of an Amazon marketing email.]

But in reality, no one there is my “rival”; that listing is merely Amazon’s “genres” – dropping novels into a similar sales category. Indeed I had NEVER even heard of any of those other books or writers before seeing that email.

I don’t spend time thinking about what others are writing; I have my own work to do. However, I have read accounts of [deranged] writers on social media attempting to “trash” others they don’t like. For example, they’ll give “1 star” reviews, and/or leave awful comments on sites like Goodreads.

I can’t fathom that childish mentality; it’s even a form of stalking. And talk about wasting time and energy when you have a novel to write. Tearing down others doesn’t get a single page of your own next book finished.

I follow lots of other writers on Instagram, on Twitter, and on here. I just like to see what others are doing and don’t view them as competitors who must be overcome. If someone is an excellent writer, that’s just a fact; this is not a zero-sum game in which if someone else writes well that means you write poorly.

[A cloudy La Clusaz, France, yesterday. Photo by me.]

On holiday here in France this week, unsurprisingly I have thought a lot about my next book(s). I’ve scribbled some notes; but I have not done any serious writing. I have opted to spend my time relaxing, including having fun on Instagram – and I’m not rushing the next book regardless.

Certainly there are novels broadly similar to mine out there. That is why there are something called “categories.” They help potential readers identify what they might like to read.

I suppose only if we are trying to write the same exact book might I find myself in anything like a “rivalry” with another writer. However, the chances of that happening are tiny, for even if the books are of the same timeframes and geographical locales, we are going to approach the tales differently. After all, we are DIFFERENT writers.

[Wine and Sinatra. La Clusaz, France. Photo by me, 2018.]

They both sang, but the Beatles are the Beatles, and Frank Sinatra is Frank Sinatra. We all may be a fan of both artists. I’ve written four novels, the most recent one being a massive historical/ romance/ adventure: my “magnum opus” as I’ve laughed more than once…

…and I don’t compare myself to anyone else. My writings stem from my ideas, my worldview, are in my voice and in my style, and constitute my (small literary) contribution. Uncounted other writers do the same. There is no need for me to see anyone else as a “rival” because no one else is, of course, “me.”

Naturally, though, that doesn’t mean I can’t disagree with a “meme”…

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Repost from @writingroutines Tag @writers.are.awesome in your post to get featured "Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates." β€”Mordecai Richler #writingroutines #writing #routines #writingprocess #writingtips #creativewriting #keepwriting #writingcommunity _______________ Follow @writers.are.awesome to join the writers community βœ’οΈπŸ“– We have cool t-shirts & mugs for writers. Check the link in bio #writersofinstagram #writer #writerscommunity #writers #writerslife #writersofig #writerlife #writersblock #writersnetwork #writerscorner #writergirl #author #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorslife #authorsofig #authorsrock #novelist #indieauthor #indiewriter #selfpublished #selfpublishedauthor

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…that I feel is, uh, “dead” wrong.

Fundamentally all writing is about living; what’s on those pages is alive and its aim is to capture readers – whomever, wherever, and whenever – forever.

[Screen capture of The Open University web site.]

One tiny example: an early 2014 post of mine was linked to in mid-2016 by someone at Britain’s Open University at the highlighted words: “Duchesse Rosalie de la Rochefoucauld.”

My “magnum opus” in which “she” and “Mr. Short” appear as living individuals was completed in 2017 – and will be available “forever.”

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. πŸ™‚