Competition–Win, Lose, or Quit?

NANO WORDCOUNT AS OF THIS MORNING: 25,120. I’m over halfway done!

I took a celebratory hike with the world’s most anti-selfie dog.

One important discovery I have made this NaNo is that competition for the sake of competition can be a great motivator for me but also that I do competition in a very weird way. I don’t like to win prestige or attention (money is always accepted, though). I want to be able to say I did something, but I don’t necessarily want to be celebrated for it. It’s a personal point of pride with bragging rights invoked only occasionally and always with nonchalance.

This year, NaNo WriMo occurs at the same time as a gym competition at my workplace. There are prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and I am currently in 5th. This competition, like NaNo, is about achieving points (gained by spending time in various heart rate zones, not unlike a word count) and assessing winners by the end of the month. Considering I do a lot of steady-state cardio, it’s something I can realistically shoot for.

And I’m in 5th. I hate it. I can’t stand being so close and not in a winning slot. So I’m increasing my regimen in an effort to outlast my competition. I won’t be able to beat the first two places, but I just want to be in the top 3—the official winner slots.

It’s the same with NaNo. I committed really well in the first week, got a little lazy in the second weekend and had a late night catching up. Now I’m over halfway there (*plays Bon jovi song*). I can’t stop now. The threat of disappointment when I know I could succeed is far worse than the idea of not getting a reward at the end of the race.

The big question is how I’m going to keep this activity up after November, and NaNo AND this gym competition end. I’ll need to find another fix for my competition addiction.

I can settle for losing, I can’t settle for quitting. I just have to find something I can’t bear to quit.

Zoe also doesn’t quit…she just doesn’t quit until her toy has been dismembered and it’s stuffing entrails strewn about the floor.

Author: V. Kane

I write YA fantasy, blog about it, and then take my dog out for therapy. My current manuscript is ANATHEMA, a story of two sisters caught up in a war between the gods. Find me on Twitter at @ValkyrieWriting or Instagram at books_and_dogs

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