Want to know what all successful writers have in common? They're failures. Every writer starts out mucking about in the wallows of ugly failure:
- failure to finish a manuscript
- failure to land an agent
- failure to sign a contract
- failure to get good reviews
- failure to sell bajillions of books
Fail. Fail. Fail. Depressing, eh? Nope. Not really. Not when you make failure your friend. Here's how . . .
Failure isn't your enemy.
Sometimes something as easy as changing your mindset helps alleviate stress. Think of failure as your friend rather than an enemy. How can failing possibly be positive? Because it's an opportunity to start over again with a fresh slate. And this time you'll have a clear sense of what doesn't work because you've already tried it.
Failure isn't weakness.
Real strength lies in picking yourself up and trying again. Not getting something right the first time (or the hundredth) doesn't prove that you've got a flaw. It proves that you're determined to continue plugging away at a particular skill. Babies don't start out walking without falling many times. It's the same with art. Failure doesn't define who you are.
What you did failed. You didn't fail. Failure is an event, not a person -- not you. Stop the negative self-talk. Failure isn't the end.
Actually, it's the beginning. Failure is a critical learning experience in figuring out what works and what doesn't work.
Nobody likes to fail, but it is part of life, so you might as well embrace it and make it work for you rather than let it curl you into the fetal position.
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me
two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the
latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and
Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti
phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?