We Are Not Competitors
Instead of looking at other writers as competitors fighting each other for work, we should start to see each other as colleagues.
Author Chuck Wendig recently tweeted a call for kindness among other writers. His statement, while overly simplistic, is worth amplifying and repeating over and over again.
Writing is often a solitary experience. Aside from my online groups and client calls, I spend most of my day with my four-legged coworker. When I’m in periods of client searching or between projects, it’s easy to look at Twitter feeds and newsletters from other writers and get jealous. Sometimes it gets in my head and makes me wonder why I didn’t land that gig or achieve that success.
Here’s the thing, though. Roughly 100% of the time, I didn’t apply for that writing gig or didn’t even know about it. There are SO MANY writing jobs and clients in the world that one writer’s success does not lead to another’s failure. Instead of looking at each other as competitors fighting each other for work, we should start to see each other as colleagues.
Instead of getting jealous or angry at other writers for their success, let’s reframe and celebrate their accomplishments. It creates a sense of comradely and, as Chuck Wendig requests, kindness among peers. Seeing other writers’ success also pushes a drive to search for new and different clients, write new pieces, and explore new business options.
Expanding our view of each other as competitors into colleagues also encourages collaboration and connectivity. When we see others as competitors, we tend to retreat and avoid contact in fear of revealing some secret that the other may exploit. However, colleagues share information, tools, and information to encourage and support each other.
In the spirit of supporting and uplifting colleagues, here are a few of the writers I follow, subscribe to, and learn from:
- Eva Gutierrez: Eva walks freelance writers through her Client Acquisition System, which I’ve used and highly recommend. Plus, Eva sends a fabulous newsletter with freelancing tips.
- Kat Boogaard: Kat is a long-time freelance writer whose newsletter is a fantastic resource of her personal experience. Kat shares tips from her career simply and clearly.
- David Koff: David’s Tech Talk newsletter shares clear advice on privacy, security, and technology. While he typically does not talk about freelancing, David’s writing provides a masterclass in conveying information and interacting with an audience.
- Mark Ellis: Mark, like David, writes about technology. However, Mark is also a freelance writer and content producer. I’m part of Mark’s Discord server and, while we don’t often talk writing, I learn from his community engagement and interactions.
- Tony Stubblebine: Coach Tony writes about personal development and self-improvemnt. His daily newsletter is a quick injection of insperation and thought-provoking considerations.
While I can’t promise seeing other people’s success won’t cause feelings of jealousy, I can promise I won’t look at other writers as competitors. I invite you to join me in looking at each other as colleagues instead.
Who do you learn from and subscribe to?