I'm not sure why, but it is fairly known throughout literary circles that writers are super competitive toward one another. I have a friend who got her Bachelors in creative writing at San Fransisco State years ago, and is currently trying to get her Masters! I am so proud of her! She was bit by the writing bug when we took a creative writing class together years and years ago at the community college level. We got along so well, sharing a love for words, books, and stories, as well as coffee and day dreaming about adventures and trips across the world. When she switched her major from art to creative writing, I felt a disconnect in our friendship. Slowly over the years she began to move away from me emotionally, and now we are mearly facebook friends. I mourned my friend for a while, even becoming angry at one point, but only because I didn't understand what was going on. Then one day she posted an article about writers and why "we" compete with each other. Suddenly it hit me hard: it wanst personal; her putting space between us was simply because we were both writers. She stopped looking at me and our conversations as friendly, and began to see me as a competitor.
I read the article she posted, and thought long and hard about how I feel about other writers. My conclusion was this: only people who are insecure feel the need to compete with their peers. Its true that a lot of people who create experience a lot of self doubt, but that is no need to put someone else down. Here is my list of reasons why I will never compete with another writer:
1) The support in the writing community is an energy that feeds your work! On a rough day, just texting a fellow writer for some feedback or positive affirmation can get you through a project, why would anyone give that up?
2) The more writers out there, the more stories we get to read! No two minds are alike! We all have different stories and point of views to convey! Personally I get excited to read another persons words because they are so different from mine! Its refreshing!
3) Books are dying :( the more writers we have out there, the less that last statement will become the sad truth.
So every time I hear that a friend has begun writing a book, or another has become published, I break out the champagne and celebrate! I am always there to support their efforts, and encourage them in any way I can! We do not need to compete with each other, because in the end, we all win!
That being said, when I found out Chelsea got her book published, I immediately went on amazon to buy her book. I am currently still reading it, and cannot wait to finish it and write a review! Getting a book published is such an amazing feat, and might I mention courageous! If my old friend ever gets published, I will of course support her as well, and buy her book. I will read it with a smile on my face and send her a lovely card telling her how much I enjoyed her words, because I know they will be brilliant! Hopefully one day she will realize that competing with other writers just cuts you off from positive resources, and she will come back to the light.