“Failure is not an option.”
We hear it all the time. People have even made T-shirts with that motto. And by saying it’s not an option, we associate failure as a negative thing.
But what if it were an option?
What holds us back when we’re writing? What causes us to stop in the middle of a sentence and hit the backspace button? For me—and for many of you, I’m sure—there are three things:
1. I’m stuck.
2. I’m bored.
3. I’m scared.
Which one used to stop me the most? If you thought number three, you’re right!
Early on in the stages of writing—before I found these fantastic writing websites, like “The Write Practice” and “Positive Writer”—I would find myself stopping and deleting more often than I was click-clacking away on my keyboard.
It was infuriating, and I had no idea what was wrong. I knew exactly where my story was going, but I couldn’t for the life of me find a way to get there.
After a few minutes of digging, I found the problem.
I was scared.
Scared of upsetting my readers, scared of what people would think of me, scared of making a mistake.
But what’s the worst that could happen if I made a mistake?
The worst thing would be making that mistake, and mistakes can be fixed. When I’m editing, I constantly think, “Oh, there’s where I went wrong. I’ll be sure not to do that again.” And I fix it.
“Failing” has made me a better writer.
If I hadn’t made that mistake—or fifty, or hundreds of those mistakes—I wouldn’t have learned from it.
If you’re not learning something about writing each day, you’re not growing as a writer. (Click to Tweet)
Stop making failure a negative thing and start writing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and start creating.
And if you do mess up, do your best to learn from it. Trust me, you’ll be much better off.
What if your first book was sold to a publisher quickly, but then each of your next 5 books were turned down?
That exact scenario happened to none other than, Danielle Steel, currently the best selling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time.
I thought I should write a book! I tried and I did, and it sold remarkably quickly. Then I thought I’ll do this again, but then I wrote five others that nobody ever wanted. I had five unpublished in between my first and the next published book. (Source)
Keep learning. Keep writing. Keep growing.
What have you failed at, but learned valuable and necessary lessons from? Share in the comments.