Saturday, February 12, 2022

Why Choose Someone Else's Writing Success Over Your Own?

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

Other writers so often inspire me, but right now I’m inspired by the different Olympians competing in the 2022 Winter Games.

Last week, the story of how U.S. speed skater Erin Jackson almost missed the Olympics captured my attention.

Jackson is the top-ranked speed skater in the world in the 500-meter race. However, she slipped during the Olympic trials last January, costing her one of the two spots on the U.S. team.

But then … Brittany Bowe, her teammate who’d won the event, gave Erin her spot.

An amazing display of sportsmanship, yes?

Bowe, who earned the right to compete in the women’s 500-meter speed skate at the 2022 Winter Games, stepped back so Erin Jackson could compete in her place.


Because Bowe believed in her teammate. Bowe believed in her friend. “[Erin] is ranked number one in the world and no one is more deserving than her to get an opportunity to bring Team USA home a medal,” Bowe told NBC.

What an amazing act of selflessness.

Just like sports, the world of publishing overflows with opportunities to compete with others. Whether you’re pre-published or published, there are all sorts of chances to compete with both casual acquaintances and close friends for contracts. Speaking engagements. Awards.

Given the chance—after winning the chance to step into the limelight—would you bow out and instead offer your opportunity to someone else? 

Just asking the question.

Here’s another question: Do you celebrate other writers’ wins even when you’re still waiting on a contract? Even when you don’t win a longed-for award? Even when you sign up to attend a workshop when you feel qualified to teach it?

Yes, each one of us is pursuing our writing dream. But let’s open our eyes and recognize that all around us are other writers pursuing the dreams they cherish too. The dreams they pray over. The dreams they strive for day after day.

Maybe, just maybe, there will come a time when you’re called to come alongside another writer and help them … or even cheer them on as they move ahead of you.

THE REST OF THE STORY: Speed skater Brittany Bowe went on to earn a spot on the U.S. speed skating team in two other races. Of course, she didn’t know about that when she gave up her spot to Erin Jackson. But that’s a beautiful end to the story, isn’t it? 


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Having authored nine contemporary romance novels and novellas, The Best We’ve Been, the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters Series with Tyndale House Publishers, releasers May 2020. Other books in the women’s fiction series include Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. Visit Beth at


  1. This is a great reminder that we are not in this thing as individuals but a part of a team: Team Kingdom of God. Together we work to win souls and spread our influence to the glory of God. Our group, The Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, operate like that. We are all for each other. We help each other to success. No completion, because we are all on the same team. Adopting that attitude brings such freedom! Others' success is our success. Thank you, Beth, for bringing us such a vivid example in this godly principle.

    1. "Others' success is our success." Well said, Julie. Well said.

  2. A beautiful post. Reminded me of Philippians 2: 3 - ". . . in humility value others above yourselves."

  3. Yes, MaryAnn, this is such a beautiful example of Philippians 2:3. May we look for opportunities to value others above ourselves too.

  4. Thanks for your post! I love cheering on other writers through my blog interviews and in the Marathon Facebook group. Such a blessing along the journey as I work and pray for publication.

  5. Deena, that's a wonderful attitude and yes, it's amazing how encouraging others also blesses us too.

  6. Such an encouraging and inspiring message, Beth. Thank you! Brittany shows how we can truly give of ourselves to show our love and support for others. It was wonderful to watch Erin win today. I'm sure Brittany was so very excited for her friend.