Oh hey there! As you all know, I am a winner from NaNoWriMo this year! That means a lot of things to me: it means discounts to get new writing programs to try, and gives me the right to pat my own back for finishing when I thought I never would. I’ve always liked competition, but especially competing against myself, you see. Sure, some people make rivalries even in the writing community, and yes, I did team sports and such in middle school… But I didn’t like that form of competition. There were insanely loud cheers and it felt more aggressive half the time. It was stressful because people were relying on me, too. That’s why, for the most part, I’ve spent my life focusing on competing with my own self, rather than joining something more interlaced with aggression.
The reason I’m bringing up competition is two-fold. First off, a friend recommended it while I was struggling to think of a topic for today’s blog. Second, though, is I’m spending the end of the year finding and joining writing contests that have some form of meaning or interest to me. I joined my first ever short story contest (and my god, writing such a short story is hard!). I also found a poetry contest I plan to enter this year as well. I’m going to be getting 3 entries, so I need to decide on two more, or write them. My first poem for it is already secure.
What’s funny is when you compete with yourself over time. The poem I have set for the poetry contest is actually one I wrote a long time ago when I had a murderous migraine. I reread it since I planned to enter it, and just… my god. Why was this my favorite poem I ever wrote? I don’t get it. And yet, it still served its purpose, and I still plan to send it in.
I do miss some other forms of competition. I really liked discus when I wasn’t getting hit in the knee by a moving disc of six pound rubber. Basketball wasn’t bad either. In fact, I get jealous when I walk to the park and there are kids playing basketball because I want to join… But asking them would be far too scary. So, I just watch.
Also, competition can be great for things like household chores! I sometimes treat the dishes as a competition. They’re no longer my job, but I inspect how my dad did them and always feel eerily pleased when there’s a mistake he couldn’t see but I can. It’s pathetic, I know- but it makes me feel a little better about myself in some weird way.
I’ve watched videos about motivation lately, and a lot talk about a ‘ten minute tidy’, which is a competition with yourself to clean more in ten minutes than the last time. I was really into them for a while, but I kind of just stopped. I hope to start doing them again, maybe during word sprints other people do. I have plenty of tidying to do- so focusing on just a bit for ten minutes would probably make it easier on me.
Do you consider yourself a competitive person? What kinds of things do you like to compete with, and with who? I’d love to hear your own stories of triumph over rivals, whether that rival be your friend on another basketball team or yourself in getting a task done. How do you find competition helpful in life? Comment below to tell me all this stuff and more- I love hearing about you guys, and learning from you too!