Create DON’T Compete


Every single one of us on Medium is a creator.

When you write something, anything, you are creating. By creating, You are giving value… Believe it or not!!

Pre-Conditioned

We are brought up and conditioned to believe that we are living in a very limited world, with not enough resources to go around and whatever we want we have to fight for it. A fear based “lack of” mentality. Now, this is no fault of your parents or present-day society, it is how society has been conditioned for millennia. Call it survival instinct, maybe that does have a part to play, but we evolved from apes to live in communal clans where all resources were shared.

Share to Greed

I remember a movie I saw as a kid called “The gods must be crazy”, about a family of Kalahari Bushmen, who had never had contact with the western world and lived in total harmony. Then one day they came across a Coca-Cola bottle and all hell broke out. Suddenly all the harmony left the clan and they started to fight over the bottle. It was a great metaphor for life for humanity.

Competition is healthy

Yes to compete or be part of is healthy, as the saying goes “It’s not about the winning, it’s about taking part”. But come on, who doesn’t want to win. Winning brings glory, winning brings fame, winning brings money. We all want to win and anyone who says differently is being dishonest.

But with competition, you will always have winners and losers. It’s great for the winners, who get the rewards, but not for the losers, who get nothing. Or do they?

Losing or coming second has it’s merits, as you learn more from your mistakes or shortcomings than you do from your victories. In fact, arrogance and complacency can always be a result of just winning.

Not only that, you have to endure the stress of constantly defending your “Title”. So you never are actually a winner, just temporarily in the first place, until the next winner comes along.

Being a writer

When you see competition around you all the time, in sports, business, life, then off course you are inclined to think that even writing has to be competitive. How can anyone compete with Charles Dickens or Ernest Hemmingway? You might as well give up now and go back to your tv.

Though if you had the opportunity to ask a great writer, how did they cope with the competition, you would be surprised by the answer. Most great authors did not look at writing as a competition, they weren’t in a race, their biggest challenge was their own mindset.

Focused creativity

They had no time to worry about what the writer next door was writing about or if it was better than theirs. Their time, energy and focus were devoted to the task at hand, sitting down and writing and being creative.

Do you think Stephen King gives a hoot about what Dean Koontz is writing about or vice-versa? Both are fictional horror writers, but they aren’t in direct competition. They are too busy being creative.

They both have made a good living from their novels, but they write because it’s their passion. They didn’t know that they would be superstars in their field. No one does

When I started blogging, I did so by default, as I initially joined an affiliate marketing programme and came to realize that I could not afford to advertise, so the next best thing was free to low cost content marketing — Blogging.

Finding my passion

I started blogging about the affiliate product I was selling, but to be honest, I wasn’t that clued up on it and boy it was extremely boring to write. I struggled to get even 100 words. When I looked at the so-called competition, I cringed, how the hell can I compete with that, I’m a complete amateur, a joke.

I started writing about something I knew, and was passionate about, addiction recovery and wrote a whole series about that. I then also wrote blogs on self-improvement.

Its great writing blogs, but it’s getting people to read them, that is the trick. According to Neil Patel, there are over a billion blogs out there. When I first heard that I was ready to pack it in there and then. What was the point, I’d have a better chance at winning the lottery than having my blog monetized or even seen at all.

Medium to the rescue

That’s where I found Medium, not that I was in it for the money as all I wanted was to find a site I could write for or on. Now I’m, not an accomplished writer and I even failed both English literature and language at school, my spelling and grammar are atrocious and if it wasn’t for spell check and Grammarly, this blog would be illegible. But what a pleasure it is to just write freely and not have to write around a call to action.

Share what you know

I do have life experience and its that experience, I do want to share. When I first started writing on Medium I did read other articles and again I began to cringe. These people are actually trained writers, what am I thinking here? It’s like putting a kindergarten kid in the same league as a Ph.d.

I sat back and thought, you know what, I like everyone else has every right to express my own opinion, give a bit of value and whether it is read or not, who cares. This is my opportunity to process my thoughts and leave them behind.

I’ll never grow rich

I’m definitely not in it for the money as to date I’ve only earned enough to buy a cup of coffee & I’ve written over 100 articles. Had I been in it for the money or to be competitive, I’d have come last in the race. I would definitely have given up after my first 50 articles.

I’m here to create, and really it doesn’t matter if nobody reads my posts, I’ll keep writing as I enjoy them and they are therapeutic.

So remember you are a creator, not a competitor, and what you are creating is value, for yourself and whoever else reads you.

Thanks for reading, if you would like to leave a comment please do so on my website.

Have a wonderful day 😊

Dermot Mc Donough

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