Writing Memoir

Why I don’t compete with other writers (or teachers, bloggers or women)

As an American, not competing seems almost blasphemous, but I feel the world is competitive enough. And fighting against each other under this idea of finite resources is overrated, freezing, and frankly part of the reason why we lack compassion.

Blogger Lisa Kramer wrote this thought-provoking article and she asks, Do you ever read things that make you doubt your path? Because she had just finished reading an amazing book, and she was “questioning” herself as a writer.

I immediately thought, no. When I read something like her article, I open a word document and get writing. Or I jot down notes or pull out quotes from good books. I get inspired. I love reading, and I push away any thoughts that my writing can’t be good enough in comparison to someone else’s.

It’s not because I have an overinflated ego or sense of self, it’s just I believe you can be good at what you do, and I can be good at what I do, too. Even if we are both writing about education, teaching, or Thailand, you and I are going to have different points of view. You and I have different interpretations on a green bean casserole. And some folks might prefer your mushy soft recipe over my crunchy topped one, and that’s normal.

Somewhere between young and mature adult I decided I wasn’t going to be jealous of other women anymore. She could be pretty and so could I. And somehow between blogging about Thailand and my experiences here, I decided the market is super saturated with Thailand bloggers and I don’t really want to be one of them.

I know me. And I am not passionate about travel blogging, and sharing all those ins and outs of the country I currently reside in. Now, don’t get me wrong, because I live here, I don’t mind blogging about what I know. Yet, at the end of the 7-11 day, I know it’s teaching, education and writing that really gets me excited, and Thailand is only the backdrop, and setting to the current stage of my life.

For my online writing course, I finished writing and researching about the privatization of public education in the US which is built upon the premise of creating a “free market” within our school systems. So the theme of competition is all over my mind.

Look, I can be competitive – to the point of being an embarrassment. I hate losing games and I love smack talk. But when I’m engaged with other writers, who are so incredible, I don’t think, “I’m doomed! Whaahahahahha.” Instead, I’m thinking, “Wow! Hot damn, you’re good.” I guess because I don’t want your ability to shine to make me think I can’t shine, too. Maybe your spotlight will be bigger and that’s okay. I don’t mind.

But what do I know? To the writing world, the teaching world, the blogging world, I’m essentially – a nobody. Yet, I find it far more interesting to cooperate rather than compete with my fellow writers, teachers and bloggers. I’d rather smile at a beautiful woman than seethe inside over my perceived inadequacies. And I’d rather draw inspiration from my fellow writers and teachers, and hopefully they do the same in return, than wish I was better, put them down, or simply give up.

me-and-muay
Stop fighting already!

What do you think?

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20 thoughts on “Why I don’t compete with other writers (or teachers, bloggers or women)

  1. Wow! Wise words. I intend to learn from them. I’m really not the competitive type, but I struggle with my own perception of what is good enough. Don’t worry, thought, I’m getting better and not quitting. I love that I have contact with so many talented, beautiful, intelligent women (and men). It’s just making me strive to admire myself as much as I admire them. Thanks for the link to my article. I’m glad it inspired you to write this.

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    1. I was getting ready to comment on your blog, that I wrote a response, but then I see you have already found me. Ha, ha! You’re quick! But I know what you mean, I feel scared about putting my first effort (book), out there. Is it good enough? Then I decided, I just got to get it done already!

      *Processing, processing* blink, blink*

      You’re a really lucid writer, and I’m glad I found you. Cheers ^ ^

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  2. It’s much better for our mental health to be happy for others instead of using the accomplishments of others to make us feel bad about ourselves. I also love being inspired by others. Keep up the good work, and keep inspiring me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! I always think about our obsession with comparing ourselves to others on all fronts; looks, success, wealth, talent, and I always think about how stupid it really is. I’m glad you’ve articulated my thoughts for me. 😉

    I feel the same way about writing, although occasionally I do get myself down about it when I realize that I haven’t been writing. Then I look with envy at the people with enough stamina and self-discipline to write all the time. But that’s just my personal problem. Anyway, I’m like you in that other writers inspire me. You as well. I love reading a new book or blog and seeing a new style that jumps out at me. It helps me develop.

    I think writers and bloggers and women and humanity in general should all be one big team that helps encourage each other. But maybe we can just stick to writers and bloggers for now. Let’s encourage! Huzzah to us!

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  4. Wonderful reflections Lani. I know it can be very liberating to work at our own pace though we discover it quite late.
    While competition is good till a certain age, it can be very stressful. We have so many competitions around us as students and teachers that there comes a stage when you start feeling…’enough’!! I have been through that phase both as a teacher and a parent. What starts as a fun/ challenge eventually gets on our nerves and now I am completely out of it!! And it is so relaxing but we do have to compete with our own self at all times! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. And yes, absolutely, we are our worst enemies kind of thing.

      It is extremely freeing when you stop comparing and competing with other women. At least that has been my experience. I’m not going back 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know I wrote that it is liberating but also, the thing is – we all have different goals in life. It is kind of hard to compete with somebody who wants to be rail thin when you’re trying to bulk up Linda Hamilton style in the Terminator. Kidding aside, being happy with others help you to be happy with YOURSELF. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a nice twist and I agree. People can tell when you accept them and are genuine. Also, when you are comfortable in your own skin, it shows, you glow and folks feel comfortable around you, as well.

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