Monday, 21 July 2008

Competition or obsession

I have decided that from now on I will be conducting contests in a different way and that will be on my newsletter. Anyone who joins will automatically go into a random draw for one person to win a prize any month I have a book release. At this stage that’s every month – but November – up until January. So, if you are sick of answering questions or sending in emails to win stuff, consider joining the Amarinda newsletter and be one of my random draws for random stuff - and stuff is always good don’t you think? First random draw starts August with the release of Male Me.

But for the moment….

The Amarinda and Anny Contest

What could be better than kicking back with a good book? Winning two books - one from Amarinda Jones – Knock Three Times and one from Anny Cook – Kama Sutra Lovers. Fantastic. You want more? Be the envy of all with two hand made hair piks to adorn your locks. But wait – there’s even more! How about munching on a delicious care pack of Aussie treats? One lucky reader will win all of this. How do you win this fantastic prize? Go to and and answer an easy question -

If trapped on a deserted island what two things could Anny and Amarinda not live without? The answers can be found on the websites. As soon as you have them email with your answers – there will be 4 in all.
The contest starts 18th July and closes midnight 23rd July 2008 (USA EST). The first correct entry drawn at random will win the prize. Good luck.

The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself--WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Memoirs and Essays

Competition is for dogs and horses --GERI HALLIWELL
Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity --Daniel Burrus

I was talking to a writing acquaintance today and she mentioned a particular author and how hard it was to compete with her. My response? Do you have to? Apparently she feels she does as she believes author X has a lot of readers. When I pointed out that maybe author X's readers may not be her readers she said it wasn’t the point. Author X was out there promoting and being visible and that was who she had to complete with. Huh? This line of thought gave me a head spin. How does she even know author X is doing so well? Author X may be a mistress of the smoke and mirror technique of looking good but nothing else. Her sales may suck. Why can’t you do what you want to do without trying to best her? And, even if author X is kicking arse in book sales, why is there the need to compete with her? I just don't get it….competing with another for what you think they are doing or may have? Bizarro world…

So, how competitive are you? Do you need to pit you skills against others in your field? Do you like to see you name above someone else's on the ladder of success? Me? I am not competitive at all. I'm not going to fight anyone for the limelight. I could not care less whether I was ranked 1st or 51st. Why? Because I have no equal. Arrogant? Maybe - but hear me out. I believe everyone should think this way. Every person on the planet is a one-off, an original. They may share the same DNA with someone else but their thoughts and actions are their own therefore they have no equal. See what I mean? If you have no equal why should you compete with another?

Is it all about wanting to be the best? I’ll open a touchy subject – as I do - I often wonder why writers nominate themselves for awards - best book, best cover, best third sentence second paragraph, best scene with bare-chested male drinking a beer - and then canvas people to vote for them. What's that about? Wouldn’t it be better if someone other then yourself nominated you? Wouldn’t you get a good feeling about that? Is the win the same if you have to orchestrate it? Were you really competing with anyone other then maybe another author doing the exact same thing? And then how is that a win? I don’t get it. Please explain to me if you do. It seems like a waste of time and energy. How is winning something you manipulated yourself to win, a win?

But then does it come down to insecurity and problems with self esteem? Do people make themselves compete to fit in? If you are secure as a person do you feel the need to match or beat someone else? Or do you not care because competing means nothing to you because you already know where you stand in life, what you want and pitting your skills against someone else is a waste of time? Truly, I would like to know. I have never understood the need to compete with the Joneses…okay, maybe the Smiths in this case.

Competition to me is when retailers compete for your dollar by providing the best savings. It's like the Olympics where nations compete by skills and abilities. That makes sense to me. Competing for what you perceive someone has is just plain dumb. People fascinate me in what they do - the lengths they will go to beat someone else to be top of the ladder. I have to ask though, after a moment of glory, in the end does it really matter? So that’s my opinion. Agree? Want to tell me to shut up? Go ahead – give an opinion.

You were placed on this earth to create, not to compete -- Dr. Robert Anthony
Trying to be number one and trying to do a task well are two different things-- Alfie Kohn from No Contest: The Case Against Competition
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


barbara huffert said...

I don't understand how you'd even begin to compete with another author. Readers read what they want and I honestly think it would be wonderful if they read all of us. I'd like great sales but I want everyone else to have great sales too.

The only thing I'd nominate of my own is a cover but that's because I'm not the one who designed it. I don't think the cover artists get nearly enough recognition and when I'm happy with and proud of something they provided for me I say so.

Did you see another Aussie stepped up for yesterday's stage? Now that's the right kind of competition.

Sandra Cox said...

Another thought provoking blog, Ms. Amarinda. Well done.

Molly Daniels said...

I've never considered myself competitive either, but it is a clear ego boost when one sees their work held up as 'Best'. I'll be thrilled if and when that happens!

I'm with Barb...readers will read what appeals to them; you can't force people to read your books if they're not interested in the subject matter. The only thing an author can do is throw their work out there and hope that somewhere, someone will take an interest in it.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Would much rather write books and let sales handle themselves. Can't even begin to figure out who I'd be supposed to compete with.

Regina Carlysle said...

I've never been big on contests. I know lots of writers enter them and I've heard their reasoning but I already have several publishers who seem to like my work and read what I send it to them. I've never felt to need to "compete" with fellow writers. We're all in this gig together and each has a different voice. People read the stuff they like. Can't understand the concept of trying to "best" another writer in sales or popularity. People either like my stuff or they don't.

Anny Cook said...

Never entered a contest... especially for writing. For me a writing contest seems self defeating. If you win--did you win because you were the best? Or did you win because the judges were having a good day that day?

I don't compete with anyone else. My writing voice is pretty distinctive. If readers like that voice, then they will buy. If not--nothing can make them do so.

Excellent blog, Amarinda!

Katie Reus said...

I'm only competitive w/ myself. (I'll set daily goals, etc.)

I can't imagine competing w/ someone in such a subjective field. Honestly, how would someone even go about doing someone like that? There's no scale which to measure yourself against so basically this woman is going to drive herself mad, lol.

JacquƩline Roth said...

I've never felt competative with another writer, I'm simply not qualified or competent enough to compete with most of those I know. But I am fairly competative when it comes to winning an argument, playing a game, my students' test scores, etc. I admit it.

And I just have to point out that the people quoted in the blog would not have been quote worthy had they not pushed themselves to the position that anyone cared what they thought. And you can't tell me they were all on selfless quests for self improvement.