I will say this until I am blue in the face but writing is hard. It’s a hard way to go as a career or a hobby. There are people who have been at it for years and have had very little success or recognition. There are newbies who submitted to their first five publishers and have gotten offers right off the bat. Trends change, publishing houses and pop in and out of existence in the blink of an eye.
The writing world is large and intimidating and just when you think you’ve got everything down and have nothing left to learn…BAM! There’s something else you need to know. It’s frustrating and it feels like the rules are changing all the time. What can be done for a new writer when these feelings drag them down?
The answer is actually simple: Fail.
I know, it sounds crazy but what do you learn from success? Admittedly, not much. What you did to reach success that time for that specific goal might not work out the next goal you have in mind. To put it plainly, with success you get praise and a pat on the back. With failure, you get feedback. I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I have other ways to keep my ego and feelings afloat. I know what genres and types of scenes that I kick-ass at. I would prefer to know what my flaws are and how to improve them then to be showered by praise and never know what more I could do. Of course, this isn’t to say that by reaching your lofty goals that you never receive any valuable. Agents and editors provide invaluable advice and guidance. Their words should never be discarded. But if you’re stubborn, or new, or you don’t know what you’re doing, failing is the best experience.
However, we live in a society that is deathly afraid of failure. To not be an instant success in any area of life is looked down upon when everyone knows that’s not how life work. Everyone wants to be a prodigy but not everyone is. Generally, people have to work hard and hone their skills to get where they are or desire to be. Everyone wants instant success but it is the failures and the losses that make success so sweet.
Give yourself permission to fail so that you may succeed.
Again, no one wants to fail or to have repeat failures. It’s demoralizing. But learning to accept failure as a part of life and how to incorporate what you can get out it, will help you in the long run. In writing, it’s fair to say that you will experience more rejections than acceptances. Hell, getting rejected has turned into a badge of honor in some parts of the writing community as a way to say, “I did it! I failed! I’m officially a writer now!” So, here is your official permission to fail. You are free from harsh judgement, you are allowed to cry, but as long as you take away something from your endeavor, you will be fine.