The Freedom to Fail

Most of us want to talk about success. That’s understandable. We want assurance that it’s possible to succeed in our work. Even so, it’s healthy to recognize our failures and learn from them.

I’m published all over the internet. I have articles that are published in print magazines and on popular websites. Yet, I have so much trouble writing a novel. No one told me that writing fiction (and several thousand words of it 😱) would be so hard.

I have failed so many times at writing a novel.

Crafting a story requires more than understanding the mechanics of writing. It takes guts. It takes perseverance. It takes hella time to spend with your characters and work out plot points and setting.

One of the things I have learned as a professional writer is that I am free to fail. Maybe I will eventually write a fiction novel (and I am leaning toward a romance or a sci-fi story), but it doesn’t mean that I’m not a writer if I never finish it or get it published.

In my work, I have also failed many times. My writing has improved because I work at it. I listen to my editors. I read a lot. And even though I have plenty of writing experience now, I still get rejected for freelance writing jobs.

Being free to fail doesn’t mean giving up. It just means that we can learn from our writing failures and adjust our course.


(feature photo via Unsplash/Matthew Henry)