Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
I hope your week has been fantastic so far. I have another wonderful blog post for you today! And also, you can visit my Crimson Sterling blog for Writer's Wednesday Inspiration, which today is talking about the dreaded Writer's Block, and what it really is (not what you think!). Also, my newsletter signup has a page of its own now, and when you sign up, you will receive a free copy of Lyrics of the Heart (yay!). My first Newsletter goes out tomorrow, and I'm excited!
But today, I wanted to talk a bit about something a lot of people don't want to speak of often: failure.
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There is both fear and power in that one, smallish word: failure. It can haunt a person, or it can empower them, and I'm here to talk about how failure has empowered me, despite what most people tend to think concerning the word.
I have failed many, many times in my (relatively) short life, and in my so far short career of 3 1/2 years. Just last year, I failed quite a bit: releasing books that were great books, but that were truly not ready to be published yet (my characters have yelled at me for that one, and now I'm working on adding to their stories, and making them not great, but amazing), and losing myself in a publishing experiment. I started things I did not finish, and finished things I didn't need to have started. I was not as good a friend as I could have been, and was not as true to myself as I could have been, either.
In these ways I failed, but--
I also learned, and that knowledge is invaluable.
We, of course, don't want to set out to fail, or to have negative experience. We have many struggles in our lives -- and in writing, besides -- and when it comes to failure, I've learned that it's all in how you look at it. Failure can be something that drags you down, or something that lifts you up, despite its negative connotation.
Last year? Yes, I learned; I learned a great many things. Those books may not have been ready to publish, but from publishing them I learned more about constructing a good series, more about allowing my books time to grow, my creativity time to do its thing, and in turn I learned more about publishing than I ever could have reading a book, or doing things the "right" way. In starting things I didn't finish, I learned that not everything needs to be created -- all ideas can be good, but which ideas do I really want to implement? What will help someone the most, or inspire someone the most, and in which one does my heart lie? I could have perhaps been a better friend, but I learned that often we expect far too much of ourselves, for the friend I thought I could have been more helpful towards thanked me at the end of the year with a tear-jerking letter, saying how much I had helped her through her struggles by simply being honest, and listening when she needed it. And maybe I could have been truer to myself, not worried so much about what everyone expected of me, but then I wouldn't have learned as well how important it is to be true to one's self, and how awful it is to try and be someone you're not.
We all fail, but we all can choose how we look at failure. From a writing perspective, that means that we can choose to move on and write better, write more, or even write about our struggles (such as I'm doing here), to help someone else in the future. From a life perspective, it means we can do better next time, improve, and grow closer to our ultimate goal or to who we want to be, what we want to achieve. We should, of course, learn from other's mistakes, but if we make a mistake of our own, we have the power to view it differently, as an asset rather than a horror.
How do you view failure? Do you want to be cowered, or inspired and empowered by it?