Competitions & Motivation

Competitions & Motivation
June 10, 2014

A big part of me is anti-competitions when it comes to creative works. The idea of putting art up against art to determine a "winner" seems absolutely asinine. I hate it.

At the same time I think there is a place for these competitions.

I recently participated in a single-elimination songwriter competition and it was an absolute blast! The competition part of it was fine, but the fun part was meeting other musicians from across the U.S. perform their original songs, and making new friends. The pros certainly outweighed the cons.

And one thing more. I found myself more motivated to get back out there and perform. Being an independent artist can get lonely. And if you don't participate in competitions, or open mics, or tours, or ANYTHING with other human beings, you will burn out. By spending time in a community of like-minded people, you fuel your passion and drive to keep doing what you do.

This is not an introvert vs. extrovert thing either. I am Captain Introvert. I am energized by my alone time. I like my space. Yet, I still need people. I need my support system. I believe we were designed to operate in community.

The best part about this competition that I was in is that I went into it not focused on the competition, but on networking and making friends (and reconnecting with old friends). That made all the difference. When it is only about competing and winning is when it becomes pointless. Because if you win and you have no one to share in your victory, you're not really better off. And if (when) you lose and you have no one there to build you back up, that really sucks. We weren't made to do this thing alone.

So, I'm going to keep participating in stuff like this, because I always see a spike in my motivation, inspiration, and creativity. And I always learn a lot.