Monday, January 10, 2011

Motivational Monday: Embracing Failure

I know today was supposed to be my first Making it Up as I Go Monday post, but I've had a fever for three days and I just don't have the mental strength to write a real post. So I'm reposting this updated version of a Motivational Monday post from March 1, 2010. Real post next week, I promise. :)


This post was inspired by this article by Rebecca Brown. Some of you have probably already seen it. If you haven’t, do yourself a favor and take the time to read it. It’s worth every second.

And along the same lines is this post from Rebecca Knight. Very inspiring!

A writer’s life is filled with what can be construed as failures. Sometimes it feels like no matter what we do, nothing will ever be good enough—for our crit buddies, for an agent, for an editor, for ourselves.

As many of you know, I’ve been seriously devoted to this writing thing for over two years. And when I started, I thought I was pretty good. Boy, was I delusional. I’m so glad I didn’t get published then.

Sure, the seemingly instant success of authors like Stephenie Meyer is appealing, but I don’t think I would be happy if I’d gotten published that way. Okay, the money would’ve been nice, but it would make me insane to know my work that was out there for the whole world to see was not the best I could’ve produced.

I cringe now just thinking about my first draft. Even after revising it a gazillion times, I can’t believe I actually thought it was good enough to query. Having said that, I don’t think I ever would’ve gotten to this point without those rejections. Every rejection—even the form rejections—led me to look at my manuscript with a more critical eye, eventually leading to my acceptance that it needed to be rewritten.

So even though they seemed devastating at the time, those failures have helped me become a better writer. A year from now, I’ll most likely look back at what I think is so much better now, and it won’t be good enough, but I’m sure there will be more failures along the way to get me there.

What about you? Do you embrace your failures?


  1. Yes, rejections either make or break us. We either learn from them or they drive us down. They're not easy, for sure.

  2. Oh no! Hope you feel better soon!

  3. It's a good thing faiure loves to be hugged. I do it all the time.

    I agree. I'd rather have a writing career like Sarah Dessen than Stephanie Meyers.

    Hope you feel 100% soon. :D

  4. I hope you get better soon.
    I agree that rejections do strengthen us. Whether it's our writing ability or our self esteem.
    I too thought I was brillant. I laugh at it now. Rejection never feels good, but when I look back, I look at how much better I've become and I can only get stronger.
    Not sure if that made any sense.
    Good luck and get better. :)

  5. So sorry you're sick. Being sick sucks! I hope you get to feeling better soon. :)

  6. Hope you feel better soon, Abby! An ice-cold Dr. Pepper... probably won't help in this situation, but would be delicious nonetheless. ;)

    I feel like there's no way you CAN'T embrace failure in this biz. Because it's all about learning from your mistakes, and working hard, and hanging in there until someone else loves your work as much as you do. If you gave up after the first rejection, you wouldn't be giving yourself the chance to improve, so you're only cheating yourself.

    Great post!

  7. Oh, Abby! I hope you feel better. And great (re)post.

  8. I've learned and grown from every single one of my "failures". I wouldn't trade them for anything.

  9. Hey, I sure hope you feel better. Wish I could send you some of my homemade chicken noodle soup. It cures everything. I do embrace my failures. They're all learning experiences that allow us to accept ourselves for who we are.

  10. I hope you feel better!

    This is why I'm not querying for a long, long time : P There's days I really want to query because I've been writing for what seems like a long time, but I know my manuscript isn't ready yet.

  11. Thanks, everyone! Still not 100%, but I'm feeling much better today. :)