Picking Yourself Up after Failure
When I decided to become an author, when I wrote my first book (still sitting unpublished BTW). I never imagined how impossibly hard the as-fault of failure would feel when you hit it face first. Especially after climbing atop that self important pedestal you climb on when writing.
Now don’t get me wrong, and please comment below if I am wrong. But lets all be real who hasn’t self righteously climbed atop the pedestal of ‘I am the god of novel writing all must kneel before me’???? At one point in their writing career? I know I have, and I know I have fallen from that pedestal. I have been pushed from said pedestal, and I have tripped off, slipped off, and generally been kicked off by my ignorance.
They are not pretty stories my falls from grace, and they are not happy stories. But they are learning opportunities. And after so many failures I know one thing… I am NOT the god of novel writing. At
best I am mire minion hoping in vain some little recognition from the greats that have come before me and those on their to greatness as they pass me by.
Again don’t get me wrong, I am not trying for sympathy when I tell you this. What I am saying is failure, although it is said is not an option, it is however, inevitable. It is what you do with that failure, do you lay face first on the cement breathing in the stench of the failure. Or do you get up and look around at what brought you to this point in your life.
I bet you would be surprised by how many people are there with you. Not because they are failures too, but because they are learning something from their situations.
Because guess what? Failure doesn’t have to be a failure unless you lay there face first eyes downcast refusing to look anywhere but at the fact you have failed. And trust me I have lain in that spot before, for years at a time. My weight is a great example, and publishing my books is another. I sat on the fence about self publishing for eight months before finally going ‘Indie’ and that was one of the best decisions I ever made. But I waited those eight months because of a failure in a writing contest, where I put way to much stock into what one…one judge said.
And lately I have suffered from writers block because of a bad review, one bad review. But with my head down staring at the as-fault of failure the heights of success completely un-attainable. Why? Because I am starring at the FREAKING ground!
So having said all that, picking yourself after failure isn’t easy. It isn’t pretty, and it sure the hell isn’t something people like to to admit they do. It is humiliating, but as mentioned earlier a necessary evil to move forward.
Do you think the great’s in the world didn’t fail? Because they did, they even had EPIC fails. Nothing that comes to mind right now ;). But they did, and so will you and I. And its okay, so kiss the cement of failure promise to be back. Then stand up and look around because your not alone. Don’t look up, that height of success is way to far up at the moment. Right now you need to enjoy the smaller things, and take a couple of deep breaths and know that it’s okay to fail.
The most important part of failure is to learn what you did wrong, learn what needs to be done right. Take away something from the failure that makes it not a failure but a learning experience.
Someone recently asked me what I considered SUCCESS to be?!?!
Money? Fame? Recognition? Best Sellers list? Becoming a household name? My books on everyone’s bedside? Or on everyone’s ereader? Being recognized when I go to the grocery store? Always getting 5 star reviews on each and every book I publish (Yes I have thought this through a little.)
But do any of things matter? I would have to say yes, otherwise why would I have thought of them. But do they really mean SUCCESS?
Here is a little unknown secret that not many writers and authors want people to know. Everyone has the ability to write. WHAT?
I know, it’s shocking right?
But here is the part that pulls an author apart from a ‘writer’. Imagination, and follow through. Anyone can put their ass in a chair and write. But can you finish?
Ahhhh there it is… the crutch the mystical piece that eludes, that slips through the fingers, that makes writers, and novices and want to be authors cry into unfinished works in progress. The mystical ‘THE END’.
It is so freaking hard to finish a 90,000 word manuscript. To have characters living in your head to get those characters stories out and on the page in a way which makes sense and not a jumbled multi-personality mess; that is a SUCCESS. Even if that story never sees the light of press that is a SUCCESS. Taking something from just an idea, a glimmer to a roaring fire. That is SUCCESS.
That is what SUCCESS is to me. Every time I write: THE END I am a success.
I may never be a bestseller, or a household name. But I’ve succeeded in doing something I never thought possible. I’ve written (as of this blog post 4 novels), that is SUCCESS. And I am a proud Indie published author.