Friday, July 15, 2011

Failure by Design

            Today’s blog post is about failure. When I started racking my brain for a topic for today’s post, it seemed like a no-brainer to talk about failure; especially considering that just a few days ago I made a post promising myself and my followers a blog post and a thousand words a day.
            And have any of you seen a post since then?
            So, failure is a rather appropriate topic, wouldn’t you say?
            There are two sides to failure. One side of failure is obvious—it means that you didn’t reach a goal, you were proved unsuccessful. And, well, that always sucks, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. Sometimes, failure can be a good thing. Without experiencing failure, how are we to learn persistence and humility? Of course, most people don’t set out to fail, and that’s how it should be; but make no mistake about it: failure has value.
            As writers, we fail all the time. Failure is something that you have to get comfortable with if you’re a writer and you’re seeking publication. As successful as they are now, even Stephen King and Anne Rice were rejected by agents and publishers; and surely each have had a number of days where they failed to meet their own standards, much less someone else’s. Such is life.
            If I want to look back at why I haven’t always succeeded, I’m sure I’d be able to come up with a decent enough excuse; but the truth is that failure is a part of life—and nobody comes out unscathed. What matters is not how many times you’ve failed to meet your own standards or someone else’s, but where you go from there.
            No matter the issue at hand, I always look at my failures and try to figure out what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future. Some would say that I spend too much energy on this particular area; to the point that it’s actually a detriment to my success. They could be right. Self-criticism is important; just don’t let it become destructive. As for failure… well, if you find yourself failing often, then maybe you need to ask yourself if your expectations are too high?
            Not everybody can be Stephen King or Anne Rice. Not every mediocre writer can have such incredible luck to wind up on the Best Seller list of The New York Times ala Stephenie Meyer. And some days, I just don’t have the time or energy to write up a blog post. But this is a goal, so I’m going to keep trying. As for the “1k a day” goal… well, I need to go work on that now.
            See ya tomorrow,

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