Tuesday, May 10, 2011
A Time to Fail
"You haven't struck out everytime," I told him on the way to a game when he wasn't feeling up to the challenge. "You got a hit in last week's game. You're still learning. It takes time and practice to improve. Each time you get up to the plate is a fresh new chance. Forget about the last at bat. In fact, if you swing and miss once, you still have two more tries. The more times you try, the more you learn what works and doesn't work, the better you'll get. And, at the end of the season, I'm just proud you got out there and tried you're best each time." His response: "Can I get candy from the snack stand?"
Oh, how I seemed to know it all, so wise, so positive from the driver's seat of my mini van. Where was all that wisdom and positive thinking the next day when I checked my less than stellar sales report on the Kindle Direct Publishing site? "I feel defeated. What's the use? I don't have the time to promote my work properly. I'm just wasting my time trying to be an author. What was I thinking? Blah, blah, blah." I shut down my computer and left to go fold laundry (something I do with great success several times a week). In the jumble of clothes, I came across my son's uniform and remembered my inspired little pep talk.
I subscribe to regular e-newletters from Writer's Digest. One of their featured bloggers is Jane Friedman. Her posts are always very informative and thought provoking about the world of publishing. In a recent post, she spoke of success. In her opinion, success depends less on talent and more on determination. Ms. Friedman explained how she allows for a "time to fail". In essence, failure is inevitable when trying anything new. Failure leads to learning. Conversely, learning from failure and being determined to try again in the face of multiple failures leads to success. http://janefriedman.com/2011/02/15/boring-elements-of-success/
If that's not inspiring enough, check out this list I found of 50 Famously Successful People who Falied at First. Here's the link: http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/02/16/50-famously-successful-people-who-failed-at-first/