You’ve heard how the old saying goes- “It’s a dog eat dog world out there.” But why does this have to apply to writing? Why does being a writer have to be so competitive? Surely there’s room enough on the thousands of empty bookshelves for us all.
I will admit- I can be quite competitive sometimes. But I will never understand why some people think that writing has to be that way. Art should not be a competition. Sure, there are only so many concepts, themes, and ideas that can be used in a piece of writing, but don’t all good artists get their starts by “stealing” aspects of pieces they’ve garnered inspiration from to form a brand new one (whether intentional or not)? That’s what writing, and art in general, is all about. Almost everything that can be said has been said before. The real question to be asked is, “Who said it best?”
However, this doesn’t mean writing should be a contest. Maybe what one person says in one book really resonates with a reader. That doesn’t mean it’ll have the same effect on another. That’s why writing is so beautiful. Your words on your pages on the piece that you’ve spent hours upon hours agonizing over will (hopefully) someday inspire so many different thoughts and emotions within others. This is precisely why we, as writers, should be supporting one another. We know that writing has the ability to lend itself to so many new thoughts and feelings within others- so why not make room for all writers to have a chance for their work to reach others? Even if they don’t necessarily succeed, they will have been provided with the support that gave them the chance to do so. Beyond that, we should be able to appreciate the scope of talent within the writing world without feeling threatened. We know how hard it can be to try and become an author, or just exist as a writer in general. So why does it seem as though we are always competing?
I spent a few weeks over the summer at an intensive writing program for high school students, and let me tell you- I met some of the most amazing people of my life. Being given a support system of fellow writers who gave real, constructive feedback and supported me throughout my artistic endeavors has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Because of those people believing in me, I was able to believe in myself for the first time. That’s when I realized that this is what I needed to do. I needed to write. I want all writers out there to feel this way. I want all writers to feel supported throughout their creative career. We should be standing by each other and offering support, because hey- whether you’ve sold thousands of copies of your novel, or you’ve just started working on your first draft, at the end of the day we’re all in the same boat. We’re all just artists trying to deliver our message in the best way we know how- with our words. We know the ups and downs that come along with the vulnerability of writing. So why is writing often viewed as such a competitive world? I think it’s time that we start showing more support so they’ll see the truth- writing is a creative roller coaster, but through it all, you deserve unconditional respect, appreciation, and encouragement.
Thanks for reading! Do you agree? Do you think writers should show more support to each other? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to check out my Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay updated!