Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing and Competition...


I have a wee little secret I'm not sure I've ever shared with you all.

I LOVE GAME SHOWS! Okay, so maybe I divulged that a little when I admitted last month to standing in line for 8 hours to interview for Deal or No Deal.... but still, I am what I am. Unfortunately, I don't often get to watch them. Some of my FAVORITE ones come on while I work, and I'm just too busy to watch much in the evening. And still others are older and don't come on TV anymore.

Krista's FAVORITE Game Shows EVER!

  1. Wheel of Fortune
  2. Family Feud
  3. Price is Right
  4. Deal or No Deal
  5. Concentration (anyone else remember that?? I LOVED IT!)
  6. Pyramid
  7. Press Your Luck
  8. Hollywood Squares
  9. Who Wants to be a Millionaire
Okay, so some of those are highly old. Am I the only one that still cries out, "WHAMMYYYYYYYYY" just for the fun of it?

I was thinking about my love of game shows lately and realized that I am drawn to them so much because I love winning. HA HA HA! I'm being serious here. I like competition... friendly competition anyway. I cringe with the teeball coach tells my child, "Good job... we're playing for fun!" when I'm sitting there tapping my foot because I know she only gave 50% and played in the dirt more than tried to do her best.

I think that's what it comes down to. It isn't REALLY about winning or losing. What matters is if you gave it your all, tried your best. Yes, it stinks to lose, but it also builds character, sportsmanship, and the drive to do better next time. If we had no competition in this world, how boring would that be?? We'd all be complacent with mediocre and would get lazy.

But, there is an opposite extreme. Take, for example, the mother last year of an opposing teammate at one of Lacy's games who proceeded to stomp out to the field and scream at her daughter for not playing well. Not only did this humiliate the child, but instead of trying to do better, the girl was just going to shut down. And if the tactic DID work, I guarantee you that little girl would grow up to HATE baseball.

Of course, I always come back to writing. Are we "competing" when it comes to our writing?

In a way, yes. There are only so many clients an agent can take on. Only so many books can be published in a year. Only a select few can final in contests. While I'm not suggesting we be cut throat with other writers, I am saying that we should acknowledge we have competition. We have to work to be our BEST if we want to win in the game of publishing. Write have fun, absolutely, but if that means you are putting in only 50%, then don't expect the outcome of those putting in 100%.

Oh, one other thing. "God will bless my efforts..." is so very true. BUT... often time we use "God" as an excuse for mediocrity as well. It's like the parable of the talents. If God's given you much writing talent... much is required of you to be a good steward of said talent and to multiply it. Just sitting on your talent, praying for God to bless it, and twiddling your thumbs while you hope it grows... well, that's not very Biblical.

Be obedient and wise stewards of the talent God has blessed you with.

Discussion: On a scale of 1 - 10... how effectively have YOU been using the talent God gave you lately?

P.S. Anyone else get the concentration puzzle up top? I'm sure all you smart people can figure it out... bonus kudos for those who get it!

**Next week we'll discuss a little about how the "business" and "competition" side of writing works with the Christian's desire for their writing to be a ministry.**

22 comments:

Jessica said...

What a true post, Krista! I love how brought in the parable too.
I love competition also, but friendly, like you. Games where no one wins are never fun to me. I love Wheel, Jeopardy, and Millionaire too.
Have a nice day!

Tabitha Bird said...

I agree with you. While it isn't all about winning, the possibility of winning keeps me interested and moving forward. I have never thought about being a good steward of the talent God gave me. That's a cool thought. I will be thinking about that for the rest of the week. I am sure I could do better.

Valerie said...

Just gotta say I LOVED Classic Concentration! (Don't believe everything you hear.) I also loved Sale of the Century when I was little. :)

As far as talents, well, I've pretty much been using my talents only when dragged into it lately. Pregnancy and stuff... Blah.

Terri Tiffany said...

You hit me here:) I wonder if I really am using what God has given me to my best abilities. Good food for thought!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I suck at puzzles and not much of a game show person. Sorry!

Right now I'm giving writing 0% of my energy, must alter that and get into my critique that awaits.

Andrea said...

I am most definitely a work in progress.
Blessings, andrea

Jody Hedlund said...

Oh, Krista, you're so right. In today's competitive market, we have to put forth so much effort to rise above the masses. Even if we have God-given talent, we have to learn the ropes of what will help us make it. Otherwise we might as well just enjoy writing as a hobby.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Ohhh, I LOVE game shows too! On the first computer my family owned, we used to have Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Win Lose or Draw, Concentration, and Family Feud. I wish I could transfer those games to my current computer, even though their graphics are awful.

Erica Vetsch said...

I love game shows too, especially Jeopardy.

I really enjoyed this post today.

Karen Lange said...

This is true, and really makes me think as to where I am and need to be.

I loved the original Password; my Mom got me started on that:)

Blessings!

T. Anne said...

Oh I love, love, love this!!!! This totally justifies me moving at a million miles an hour. It's for the glory of God, in some way. ;)

Marla Taviano said...

I'm here because of your goofy, shameless plug on Jody's blog. :) I have 3 daughters too. Subscribing now...

destrella said...

Big bucks... big bucks.... STOP! Love the old time game shows. :O)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Krista -

This is a timely post. I think each of us knows when we're not running on all cylinders.

Wheel, Jeopardy, Price is Right, and Deal or No Deal are my favorite game shows. I'd rather watch them than a sitcom any day.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Krista Phillips said...

Just as a note:

There are times that God calls our writing to be fallow.

Just like a field that needs to sit sometimes otherwise the soil burns out, sometimes God DOES call us into a period of putting our writing, or other talent, aside and focus on other things he's called us to do.

AND THAT IS OKAY!

Please don't think this post is me telling you to work harder if GOd's telling you to slow down.

Samantha Bennett said...

Hi Krista, I just found your blog and am so glad I did! As a recovering competiholic (and instigator of some hardcore games of spoons), I can now appreciate the balance and purpose of healthy competition. And I love your parable tie-in. God is all about grace without works, but there are so many challenges in the Bible to put forth our best efforts. Great post!

Koala Bear Writer said...

Hmmm, excellent point. I'm not into game shows, but I am very competitive... must remember to apply that to my writing! :)

Catherine West said...

I am in no way a competitive person. This is the part I hate about writing, knowing I'm competing with so many authors who may be just as good or probably better than I am. And it's so subjective, isn't it?? I used to faithfully enter the Genesis, but I stopped last year. It's not worth the angst to me, win or lose.
And I hate game shows. :0)

Kaye Dacus said...

"Big money, no whammies!" (Yes, I do still say that---though Jeopardy is my favorite gameshow.)

After my experience with not finaling in either category I entered in the ACFW book of the year contest, or the IRCC contest (the FHL chapter of RWA's contest) with Stand-In Groom last year, I've decided that I'm not going to enter those kinds of contests again---it raised way too many negative feelings in me toward the eventual finalists/winners of those contests (it's isn't their fault the judges liked their books better than mine---but try to tell that to my inner competitive child). I just need to focus on turning out the best stories I can for the people I know like to read them (those who've told me so, either through personal contact or positive reviews online).

Because in the long-run, it isn't important if my book is a finalist/wins in the Book of the Year contest. What's important is that I'm working "as unto the Lord" to be the best steward of the talent/skills/gifts He's given me.

Keli Gwyn said...

Wheel of Fortune is my favorite game show too. :)

Gwynly and I are quite competitive. That fact used to cause difficulty when we played board games. We must be maturing, though, because the other day when we played Scrabble we agreed to allow each other to look up possible words before taking our turns so we could both learn new ones. The game ended up being so much for fun that way than stiving to get the most points possible.

Jason said...

To answer your discussion question, I'd say 2.5. Maybe 3.

I'm a Jeopardy! guy myself. Although I really preferred Rock N Roll Jeopardy that VH1 ran years ago hosted by Jeff Probst.

Krista Phillips said...

Jason, I don't think you give yourself enough credit... but I'd only give myself a 5 at the moment myself.

Gotta work smarter, not harder, sometimes:-)