The first reaction to that statement might be, “Why bother to try,” or, “Stop being a pessimist,” or perhaps, “Gee, Rick, you need to read a book on positive thinking.”
I am a realist, and the path to success (regardless of the venture) is always littered with failure–that is true of writing more than most endeavors, and therein, is the beauty and strength of failure.
Before you can reach success (or failure, in most cases) you must first try to do something. Did you set out to walk five miles, got tired, and stopped after two miles? Some (including your negative internal self) may very well consider the walk a failure, but is it? First off, you tried; without the attempt to walk five miles, you would not have walked two, right? Failure or success? It is all a matter of attitude.
Writing is much the same thing, but even more so.
You set out to write a story (trying), and after a great amount of effort, you create a story you like (success). Perhaps you let a few close friends or family members read the story; some like it (success), some do not (failure). Undaunted, you format the story according to a certain magazine or publisher guideline and send it off.
The story is rejected (failure). Again, you send it out and again it is rejected, perhaps multiple times (the failures mount). Many rejections, if not most, will come as a form letter with the words, “Your story is not suitable at this time.” You are crushed.
I have a file titled, “Collection of Rejection.” The “collection” shows me how many times I have succeeded; not only have I created a number of stories and articles, but I tried to have them published. Some of those rejections came from markets that do not pay–that hurts a little extra.
The difference between a successful person and a failure is this: a failure gets knocked down and remains there; a successful person gets knocked down, gets back up, gets knocked down again, but refuses to stay down–they keep trying.
You have heard the stories of how many times Thomas Edison tried to fashion a light bulb; how many times a favorite author was rejected before their blockbuster enthralled the masses–why do you think you are any different?
Success is determined by your courage to keep trying against insurmountable odds, not allowing the world to determine or dictate who or what you are. Failure is a necessary ingredient to the equation that includes success.
Now, go keep failing . . .
This Week’s Links: Short Story Markets
This Week’s Quote:
‘You have to see failure as an opportunity’ –Howard Jacobson