Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Competition

To paraphrase: all the world’s a competition and all of us are running.

Back from the piano competition, DD did not win. But in a real way she did. She had a marvelous time, made good friends, and did very good work.
And best of all- we felt wholeheartedly that the winner was *the right one*. This, oddly, makes all the difference.

I feel the same about all the writerly competitions I seem to have inadvertently gotten myself into. I don’t see them in the making as DD does hers, but we are always in competition- for a slot on a publisher’s list, an award, or even a reader’s time.
When I feel the winners are superb and wholeheartedly deserving, I am glad to be anywhere on the periphery of their sphere. When I don’t- oh, you see those kvetchy posts on writers’ blog/tweets/chat-boards. I try not to lament much in public, but I feel it just as much.

So this was one good excursion, and now I’m back.

Almost. Just in case you think this was all fun and games, I’ll share some of the hair-raising dangers you don’t want to run into in the dead of night. Yup, this from the still undisclosed location we were in.
 Lookie here now …

It's an Al eat Al world out there.


  1. Oh, I hope you were using the Zoom on that camera! In any case, that's much closer than I would ever want to be. (Can you tell, I am not a reptile lover?)
    Glad that the competition was a positive experience for both you and your daughter.

  2. You are absolutely right about it being easier not winning when the winner so obviously deserves it. I attended many competitions with my musical daughter and we felt the same. Congrats to your daughter on the experience. I know how much a person can grow from being involved. (I'm ignoring the alligator in hopes he'll go away.)

  3. Competition can make us all better in the long run.

    Never smile at a crocodile (or alligator)! :D

  4. You're so wise, Mirka! I like your comparison of DD's competition to the writing world. How right you are! Great photo of you and Dear Croc or is it an Alligator?

    1. Well, it isn’t Lyle… It must be Al, the waiter.

  5. I'm glad DD had a good time. Sometimes you can win without winning. ;)

    Wow, hello Mr. Crocodile!

  6. Nothing chafes like feeling someone won (a contract, a race, American Idol, whatever) for reasons that had nothing to do with talent. It makes a person downright grumbly. And grumble we all do! But I also try never to put that out on Twitter or anywhere else. The only thing worse than an undeserving winner is someone publicly and vocally pouting about it.

  7. I am so glad you and your daughter had a great trip, Mirka! This is a wonderful post--thanks for sharing the bright side of competition, "winner" or not!

  8. Congrats to your DD on just being in a competition at that level!

    With respect to seeing writing as a competition though, this would just kill me. There are so many difficult aspects of putting your work out there, this would add another layer that, for me, would be undermining. I actually find children's book writers, by and large, to be extremely supportive of one another and collaborative. Maybe if we see one another as all contributing to unique parts to the beautiful whole of children's literature?

  9. Congratulations to your DD! IT does make all the difference when you feel the right person won.

    I seem to inadvertently get into lots of things too. Luckily not with real alligators OR crocodiles!

  10. To get past envy of another's success is a huge accomplishment. And for your daughter to achieve that at this point-- wow. I'm making a transition in my mind of envy and the alligator-- because envy in one's soul is like trying to keep a wild and dangerous creature as a pet.