There’s a trick that people use that has actually been pretty successful for me in my career… rivalry. I picked a person to be my “nemesis” a long time ago (only those close to me know who this person is) and I have followed their publishing/writing/creative career like a hawk, watching what he/she has done, what direction they go in and the outcome. I listen to their tweets and following them on Facebook and G+. I’m not a stalker by any stretch of the imagination, but I pay attention to what they put out there, good or bad, and I use it as a learning experience.
To date, my nemesis doesn’t know who they are either. We don’t interact on a regular basis or anything, but our circles are pretty similar. My goal is always to surpass this person, which I’ve done a few times, but never in a malicious way. When I read about a failure in their life, I don’t jump for joy. That’s not for rivalry is about. It’s about using competition to make yourself better, not to make the other person falter.
Pick your rival well, though. You don’t want to pick someone on the same level as you or someone that’s below you. That’s like challenging a 4-year old to a race and being proud of yourself for winning. You also don’t want to pick someone that an uber star. Challenging Monte Cook isn’t going to help your self-esteem while he’s breaking records and you’re still building your fan base. It should be someone slightly ahead of you, but not by a ton. This way, when you do surpass them, you can pick your next target and keep on moving.
I’d love to hear about it if you end up picking someone. No names need to be given, cause they aren’t really important in the end. As long as it pushes you, that’s what matters!
Until next time.