Embrace Your Failures And Become A better Writer

By on January 11, 2017

Writing is full of failures. Failure to meet deadlines failure to achieve your word count, failure to get an agent or publisher. In fact, I think it is pretty reasonable to say that there is no writer on this planet who doesn’t experience failure pretty much throughout their entire career.

Even the most celebrated authors, ones who now have glittering careers and all the riches and fame to go with it, at one point started out as new writers, as ordinary writers, as writers who hadn’t published anything. They were just as nervous and scared, and they also suffered rejection (often more then once) before someone recognised their talent.

Failure is difficult for writers. Most writers tend to be perfectionists. Their work is their art and it is delicate and intimate and has to be exactly right before it is shared with the world. When a writer decides to do so they make themselves extremely vulnerable (something which writers hate) and then if they do ‘fail’ it is all the harder to pick themselves back up and try again.

That’s why learning that it’s OK to fail and even using failure as a way to become a better writer is so important. Writers may experience failure throughout their career, so being able to cope with it can make all the difference.

If you don’t try you’ll never know. Next time you get a rejection, instead of feeling miserable about it remind yourself that you did something incredibly brave. It is scary and daunting to send off a submission. Always be for putting yourself out there. Finishing a manuscript is a huge achievement, you should always celebrate that. Each time you ‘fail’ just remember how great it is that you tried in the first place.

Failure teaches us lessons. Each and every time we fail we learn something - about ourselves or about our writing. We can use these lessons to improve and to try again. Without failing we might never get better, so think of failing as an opportunity to learn something new and to get better at our craft.

You get stronger each time. Failure makes you stronger. Imagine being someone who always got everything they wanted. Would you really want that? Failing and not getting what we want is part of what makes our lives challenging and varied and interesting. Each time you fail, use it to become become stronger and get back out there even more determined than you were before.

You learn to be kind to yourself. Because writers go through so much failure, they learn how to be kind to themselves. It’s simply not productive to beat yourself up every time you don’t achieve a goal. Learning when to push yourself but also when to give yourself a break are important lessons every writer should learn.

Failure is never going to be something that feels completely easy. However learning how to handle failure, deal with it, find positives in it and then to let it go will make you a stronger, more productive and better writer.

How do you handle failure? Let us know!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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