Saturday, September 10, 2022

Why We Shouldn't View Other Writers as Competition

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

I’ve learned a lot of different things since I published my first novel back in 2012. Things like:
  • How to write a synopsis in all its various forms—one paragraph, one page, three pages or more.
  • How to write an author bio—25 words, 50 words, 100 words or more. 
  • How to brainstorm book titles and back cover copy and press releases and more. 

There’s one thing I wish I’d learned earlier in this writing journey, and it’s summed up in this quote: “Other authors aren’t your competition—they are your teammates.” Jenn Hanson-dePaula, co-founder of Mixtus Media 

We all learned about competition early in our lives when we participated in gym class—don’t get me started—and team sports, like baseball or soccer or volleyball. There’s nothing wrong with competition when we remember the activity is the focus of the competition, not the other people. 

Every author I know—and yes, probably every author I haven’t met—wants their books to sell well. Honestly, every author I know wants to become a bestselling, award-winning author. We might say we want readers just to like our books, but honestly? Who doesn’t imagine writing the Great American Novel? Or dream about their nonfiction book becoming a bestseller so they can hit the morning talk show circuit?

Wanting literary success doesn’t mean I plot and pray for your downfall as an author. 

As authors we walk the writing road together. Sometimes we walk alongside one another. Sometimes you move ahead of me. Sometimes my pace may be faster than yours. But we are, as Jenn Hanson-dePaula said, teammates. And teammates support and encourage one another. 

Support means if I see a pothole in the writing road, I’ll let you know. If I know of a detour worth taking, I’ll tell you. If you land a book contract, hit the bestseller list, or just manage your word count for the day, let me know. I’ll do a little Happy Dance for you. 

That’s what teammates do.


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

Featured Image: Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash


  1. Such an important truth to reiterate. Thank you, Beth. When a team mentality prevails, one team member's setback becomes every team member's setback, and one team member's success becomes every team member's success. We share one another's burdens and share one another's joy. Philippians 2: 3-4.

  2. I am so thankful I saw this today. In part, I feel guilty because I have fallen victim to the wrong side of this perspective. I didn’t realize I had because I simply thought I was failing somehow. After reading your posting, I realize I had actually stepped away from the team that I had always been a part of in the first place. Now I can find my way back.

  3. I so appreciate your heart attitude. You realize you want to change, that you want to restore relationships with your teammates. This is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Praying for you today.

  4. I love the teammate image. I've been blessed to see it in action among the Christian author community.