Dramaquill's All Things Writing

April 3, 2012

Writing and Competitive Sports

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The other morning, reading through several popular writing ezines, I got somewhat caught up in  the guidelines for many upcoming writing contests, which got me to thinking about writing in a new way.

As writers, we are constantly competing for our chance to be published – our “win”, so to speak.  Winning a contest is somewhat like winning a sporting championship, isn’t it? 

Sports team coaches drill their players on skills and techniques that will ultimately make them stronger, better players and therefore, a more successful team.  Writers hone their skills and techniques in order to become better wordsmiths who can produce stronger, more saleable manuscripts.

For both, the ultimate prize is the win!

Writers have to compete with one another all the time for everything from pieces in magazines and newspapers to contracts with agents and publishers.  To me, winning an acceptance for publication is akin to winning a sports championship.  Exhilarating and satisfying.

To succeed, both the team sport player and the writer do several things:

1.      Make their activity a priority
2.      Constantly work on improving their skills and techniques
3.      Seek out opportunities for learning new things
4.      Enter competitions
5.      Look to mentors for coaching and critiquing
6.      Expect nothing less than their best

I was never very good at competitive sports.  I think I’m doing much better as a writer.

Do you treat your writing like a competitive sport? 

Are you doing everything you can to be the best you can be?



  1. I would find it hard to relate to a sports team, when you are working alone. In sports if you are having a bad day, your team mates take up the slack and you are benched until you can prove yourself again.
    I understand what you are getting at and in some ways this might work. In most sports you have to think three moves ahead, so you can get the right outcome.
    Also if you think of your team as the Toronto Maple Leafs, you always have been and always will be a loser. lol

    Comment by David Youmans — April 3, 2012 @ 1:32 PM | Reply

    • Actually, although the writing itself is done alone (at least for the most part), writers are parts of a team as well
      Critique groups
      Working with publishing companies
      editors of magazines
      Just like the athlete, who has to work on his own individual training, the writer must hone his own writing voice, but eventually every writer will be part of some team. I just hope I’m not going to be on the equivalent of the Maple Leafs haha

      Comment by dramaquill — April 4, 2012 @ 12:37 PM | Reply

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