How Failing Can Help You

By on August 11, 2016
How Failing Can Help You - Writer's Life.org

No one likes to fail, though writers probably have more than their fair share of it.

Failure can come in many forms, and while it is never great to experience failure at the time, the most successful writers are the ones who manage to make it help them, to turn it around, to learn from it and, perhaps most importantly, to get back up and keep on going.

So how can you make failure work for you? There is a lesson to learn every time you fail, and if you can find it, understand it, and figure out how to avoid it next time, then failure might be just the thing you need to succeed.

Failure will test your strength

Want to be a strong person? Want to stand by your convictions? Well, how about you spend years writing a manuscript, revising it, crafting proposal letters, researching publishers, and sending it off. Then having to wait another six months only to be politely told that it is not worth reading, or, worse still, just ignored altogether?

This is what being a writer is for most of us, if we can keep going after several (or 20) rounds of this we are pretty hardcore, and should not only recognise that but celebrate it!

Failure will make you a better writer

Failure forces you to examine what you have written and to understand why it might have been rejected.

If you keep getting rejected over and over again, you can choose to burn your manuscript in a manic backyard bonfire and refuse ever to write again, or you can look at it, rework it and try again.

You’ll learn about the weird and wonderful ways of publishing, you’ll understand what readers want, and you’ll be able to deliver it to them (albeit eventually).

Failure tells you your best years are yet to come

Think about an Olympic athlete - if they come fourth in their race, or trip over or crash or foul and lose their place, do they simply give up?

No, they wait, they work harder, they do better, and they come back fighting - even though they’ve got to wait four long years before they have another chance to prove themselves!

But if they win - what a story! Everyone loves to talk about how many times Harry Potter got rejected, right? Think about this every time you fail, the more you do, the better story you’ll have when you succeed.

The more you fail, the better you’ll feel

OK so you may be thinking that this makes no sense at all, but the point is if you’ve spent years as a struggling writer when you finally get the recognition you deserve it will feel all the sweeter.

Failure goes hand in hand with writing; it’s all just part of the job. But what you have got to remember is that if you are one of those writers who just keeps going, (and sadly many of us don’t) then you are getting ever nearer to achieving your goal, and the more you fail, the closer you are!

About Ty Cohen

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