If you haven't read Part 1: Click Here!
Side Note: I apologize for falling behind in the posts I wanted to do, but yesterday got a bit out of hand, so it'll take some time to catch up.
Now onto to the continuing discussion of Rivalry, and it's overlooked assets...
Earlier this week I shared the dangers and pitfalls associated with rivalry, when you let negativity have a field day with your life, it
eclipses all the benefits
That's not to say rivalry never hurts, it certainly can, even with the best of intentions, but while it's true there is no life without struggle, we also were not given life to know know struggle.
To understand all sides to rivalry, let's stop and think about what a "rival" really is.
I looked up the definition again and found out something interesting-
As defined in the dictionary-
1. A person who is competing for the same object or goal as another, or who tries toequal or outdo another; competitor.
2. A person or thing that is in a position to dispute another's preeminence or superiority.
We often associate most rivalry with the first two definitions. In the case of writers, the drive and effort we put into seeing our words in print, whether we follow the traditional model of getting published, become our own publishers (Print or Digital), or some combo thereof, and each path has its own set of challenges, and rivals who either beat us to the punch, or excels at what we're weakest at, often testing our resolve.
But let's start to consider the third meaning of Rival-
3. Obsolete . A companion in duty.
I think this "obsolete" definition of a rival, is the grey area where many frustrated writers, myself included, have a pathetically hard time accepting.
As well as appreciating.
Think about this a moment. A companion is another word for "A Friend." Duty has many meanings, but for writers, I think it's best context is "Responsibility."
Being a good friend or "Companion" is to give of yourself, and accept the help of others when given and is needed.
In this context, rivals can help us find the answers within ourselves, what we want and don't want to be, and how to use the knowledge gained from such experiences to do better by others, thus being better people to ourselves.
Rivalry doesn't have to be fueled solely on anguish or hatred, of oneself and others, but used as guide to being better writers, who in turn can guide the next generation, if only to say: "I've really been where you are, and if you don't quit, it will get better."
Think of a rival as having an aggressive (But NOT heartless) mentor. Someone who you share some common ground. This is why reading in our genre's so important. We can learn from those who love our niche the same as you do, as much as you may differ on the particulars, the passion you share in it is timeless.
Of course, this extends to all writers (Storytellers in this context) in all areas, but for the sake of simplicity, your niche genre(s) is the best starting point.
I realized in writing this that I'll need more than 2 or 3 parts to cover this topic properly, so look out for another installment next week.