Sunday, April 30, 2017

Embracing Failure

I love collecting quotes, and one of my favorites comes from an excerpt in a Writers’ Digest Magazine article years ago. I’ve kept the quote pinned to my bulletin board for so long that the paper’s yellowed. Here’s what it says:

Rejection is a writer’s best friend. “If you are not failing regularly,” Gregg Levoy observes in ‘This Business of Writing’,” you are living so far below your potential that you’re failing anyway”.

This statement still hits me in the gut.

Over the years, I’ve tried to analyze and define what success and failure means to me in terms of my writing life. I’m still working on it. So far, my only definition of failure is to quit before my most important goals are achieved. Believe me, there are days when I’ve been tempted.

Last week, I read an interesting blog called “The 7 Differences Between Pros and Amateurs”. The one that jumped out at me is point #5, "Amateurs Fear Failure. Pros Crave It." The piece goes on to say that failure can teach you more than success ever will. When it comes to writing, publishing, and promoting, this is completely true.

I learned a long time ago that rejection or lousy reviews or poor sales is a part of many writers’ lives. But embracing those disappointments and learning from them is crucial. So this year, I’m planning to take more risks by asking for more reviews and guest blogging opportunities. I’m going to take more chances on new marketing and selling opportunities. Because if I don’t try, I’m failing anyway, and that’s not going to happen.

Here are more great quotes about failure:

“Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have. – Dale Carnegie.

“Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure.” – Soichiro Honda

“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.” – Sumner Redstone

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