I’m going to be addressing something I’ve seen on social media/personally experienced as an author.
A competitive drive.
It’s completely understandable. You see another author get fame/success/glory/NYT Best-Seller/ a general superstar lifestyle.
Then you think. “Huh. I wish I were them.”
But instead of that, your mind starts dwelling on it a little more and it turns to a more spiteful. “I’m gonna BEAT THEM one day.”
This took me a long time to reconcile. I’d crack open another book in my genre, mutter beneath my breath “I could do better than THIS” and then despondently throw it back down and wonder why nobody was seeing ME the same way I saw myself.
You want the truth?
Nobody else was seeing it because I wasn’t seeing it in the first place.
I kept seeing my work at that point as something that defined who I was. If it didn’t get recognition, then neither did I. I stopped working for myself.
But let me tell you something, sweetie. SPITE only gets you so far.
One day, the spite will run out. Or it never will. And that mountaintop you’re trying to reach, it’ll just keep getting higher and higher. “OH yeah, I might be doing better than them for now, but how about that OTHER writer who…”
Competition is healthy, in small doses. But if it’s all that drives you, living for OTHERS instead of yourself, how will you ever be happy?