In Others’ Words: Finding the Good in Failure
Isn’t it funny how pursuing success can end up teaching us a lot about failure?
I dreamed about being a writer for a long time. Postponed it for years while I focused on being a wife and a mom — and facing my failures there. And my successes. There were those, too.
And then one day I stopped dreaming about writing. I stopped saying, “I want to be a writer” and I started doing the things that I needed to do to make my writing dream come true.
I attended conferences. Met with editors. And agents. Pitched article ideas. Submitted articles. Dealt with rejections and acceptances and deadlines and hopes and disappointments.
And my dream came true, just as I hoped … and in ways I never imagined.
Greater success than I’d hoped for and yes, more disappointing failures than I imagined too.
I discovered that the failures were the making of me more than the successes.
A dream coming true doesn’t mean life is perfect. Oh, it may feel like that for a few fleeting moments. And it’s so very important to hApPy DaNcE whenever the opportunity arises. And a dream come true helps you realize your own imperfections as you wrestle with the “less than” moments that inevitably appear while you’re living the dream.
A dream come true such as … oh, a book contract, for example … is an opportunity for you to discover who you are when your dream is everything you ever hoped it would be … and when it’s not. When the applause is deafening … and when not a single person claps for you. When your efforts pay off (royalty check, anyone?) and when there seems to be no return on your efforts, either in dollars or stars (readers’ reviews).
Yes, I consider myself a successful author — and by that I mean I’ve been contracted since 2011 and I’m teaching and mentoring other writers and I’m surrounded by a wonderfully supportive writing community. But the best thing about pursuing this dream? I don’t fear failure like I used to.
In Your Words: Which do you fear more: success or failure? Why? And what good has come out of failure in your life?
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