Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Competition: Is It Right For You?

Iron John has proclaimed that competition is not for the weak, and I tend to agree with his argument.

I also say that competition, healthy and vital competition, is necessary for development as a writer. In my college classes there was a certain 'squaring up'--'partnering'--'creation of nemeses' amongst the classmates. In essence, one would pick out another writer in the workshop and basically try to ape them. We'd pick people who had similar writing styles/themes/issues as our own and try to bounce off them. If they had something we wanted, they were a nemesis. Our rival. Once we gained (or thought we gained an inkling) what they were accomplishing, we moved on and selected others.

It's a growth process. But, you have to be willing to have your ass handed to you.

True for all competitions. Sure...you could win. But you could also get kicked to the ground and humiliated. Fear of humiliation=motivator. Anticipation of kicking ass=motivator. Whatever motivates you to get stuff written down, well, I say it's a good thing.

So...should John and Ali decide to have a 'my page stack is bigger than yours' kind of competition...I say right on. Just remember, we will cheer the winner and throw pickles at the loser. I also say that the count should be words-not pages-because that's a clearer indicator of quantity. Messing around with fonts won't help you in that case.


  1. Oh yeah, word count beats page count any day of the week. Otherwise, I'm going to restrain myself from talking smack. For now.

  2. Word count seems fairer. But do you have to be competitive with others to challenge yourself. I'm not good at the competition but I do want to challenge myself.


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