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Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer – Kate Johnston

Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer

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Today’s article is a share from author/blogger/editor and friend Kate Johnston. Kate is talking about the topic of failure and rejection writers face and how they lead to our successes.


Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer

Mental preparedness, I think, is the most critical tool a writer needs. More than ability or talent or free time. Most new writers are intimidated, fearful, and they don’t think they’re up to the task. They’re afraid of failure. And they allow that fear of failure to stop them on their writing quests.


Failure means you tried

Writers who are new to the craft generally don’t fully understand what it takes to be a writer. What they have to do to make a story work. How much time they have to invest.

When they are faced with the truth of exactly what they’re in for, many writers give up.

They give up before they can actually fail.

Let’s read that again: they give up before they can actually fail.

Imagine the fear, disappointment, frustration, and discouragement as an enormous, thick, noxious cloud of smoke that is hovering in your way, smack-dab in the middle of your path. You have two options: push your way through or give up.

If you give up, that is the end of your writing journey. You stopped when things got too hard.

If you push through, and deal with fear, disappointment, frustration, and discouragement, you will come out to the other side. Where the air is clearer, friendlier, and smells a lot better.

Pushing through, facing and dealing with the crappy stuff, may not earn you the big win or the success you dreamed about. But it does give you something you need.


Failure will prepare you for the next big obstacle

The worst mistake any writer can make is to think this gig will be easy or that their version of success is the only way to be successful. Thoughts like I should have been done by now. Why am I still having trouble with structure? will lead you down a dangerous landslide of limiting beliefs.

Writers who tumble down this slope are usually those who started this journey because they’d been inspired by a great book that they’ve read, or by a beloved author. They’re basing their desire on a finished, polished product. They don’t see the years and years of hard work and previous failures that led to that particular success. Years of dedication to learning the craft of writing.

Unless you have studied writing or been trained/educated as a writer, and you understand how the industry works, and you’re highly self-disciplined, then it is next to impossible to pump out a great book in a few months that will end up on the bestseller’s lists. An accomplishment like that takes years of experience and practice. And a little magic.

(I’ll pause here to excuse those rare, gifted writers who actually emerged from the womb with pen in hand.)

Even if you hit a win on your first try, and you’re not rare & gifted, what do you think is going to happen on your next try? Continue reading . . .


Source: Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer – Kate Johnston

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


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