Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Some years ago I heard a joke that I cannot remember well. Let's try if I can recall it: "there was once a writer completely satisfied, and pretty confident too, of his work."
The joke ended up there. Did you get that?
Whether you're a seasoned writer or a newbie, one thing for sure has come to your mind at some point: "How can I beat the competitors. How can I succeed when I'm not 100% confident about my work?".
Now, I could lie to you and tell you something on the line of a motivational speech and quickly vomit hundreds of words on how you can do anything by yourself and how you're cute, perfect and proficient.
But I won't.
Because I believe that intellectual honesty, it's too important.
“If partisanship makes us abandon intellectual honesty, if we oppose what our opponents say or do simply because they are the ones saying or doing it, we become mere political short-sellers, hoping for bad news because it's good for our ideological investment.” K. Andersen.
When we relentlessly believe in a dichotomy "Me vs. Everyone else" "Perfection vs Failure" we, to put it way to create a cage with no escape.
What's the point?
When we reach for perfection and we try to thrive on others' failure and we put ourselves in a position of non-cooperation and continuous competition, we kill our creativity.
Three major reasons:
We will never be fully happy with our works, and/or we will lose too much time trying to beat "the others". This way we lose focus on what's important: good writing.
We'll hardly accept others' opinions & feedbacks that could improve our works: if they're the competition they can't possibly be helpful. Again we lost in good writing.
We won't be able to see what are the true perks of being writers: being a community.
Writing, as any other creative art, bases its strength in something more important than competition and perfection.
We, as writers, are part of a community.
We're not competitors.
Of course, each of us writes a different story and since each of us wish being published, it would be impossible to not find any other writer as not a threat for our success but let me just ask one thing: how many of you withdrawn inspiration by authors? How much of others' work helped you become a writer or perfect your style?
Thanks to those authors you're now a writer and that's what matters, eventually.
You could be a threat to those authors, so why they didn't quit writing?
Because who keeps writing understand that we are a community: a pool of talent that directly or indirectly helps everyone in the community to become a better version of himself through this magnificent art.
If we renounce to look at the world in a dichotomic way, we focus on what truly matters: good writing. And the experience behind good writing. That magical feeling when a stroke of genius comes and keeps us creating.
There are no benefits in being alone
If you start to look at others as fellows and not competitors, if you try to improve yourself before your work, if you try to be less demanding of what you create and try to becoming part of a community you will understand that there's no need to "beat the competitors". A good, healthy competition in a fellowship is good for creativity, an obsessive competitiveness is, instead, harmful.
So try to do one thing next time you heard a joke like the one in the introduction, stop the one-liner who's telling the joke and proudly say: "I'm confident about my work. My comrades told me!"