Writing Tips/Insights #6: Don’t be Afraid to Fail


In the words of one of my biggest idols, Arnold Schwarzenegger: don’t be afraid to fail. Now he also said: you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets – but that is a title for a different post.

Both quotes are right and both hold a special place in my heart.

It goes without saying: failure precedes success. In the majority of cases anyway. Show me a successful person who has not tried again and again to achieve their goals and failed time after time, and I’ll say ‘Hey, that’s Kim Kardashian!’…

But seriously though, success in writing (or in any craft or journey for that matter) will not come easy. There will be losses, there will be days that feel wasted or meaningless and there will be lots and lots of self-doubt. But following all of these, there will be triumph, there will be productivity and there will – and I promise you this – be success. An abundance of it. More than you could have ever dreamed of. And in order to achieve success in the world of writing, you must not be afraid of the F word. And no, I’m not talking about fuck…

Some people might say that failing is not an option, and that to a degree is true. It’s not an option, it’s more like an inevitability. It’s whether or not you’re able to overcome that failure that determines whether or not you will achieve your goals. If you’ve never failed, then that to me means that you never really tried in the first place. Would you rather fail at being published or at making money from your blog or starting up a successful YouTube channel for years upon years, ride it out and then eventually become successful in those things? Or would you rather give up prematurely after one measly failure and never achieve the greatness that you were born to achieve? Never to conquer the goals that you were born to crush. I for one know which of those I’d rather do. I’d rather fail a thousand times and see success at the end, than give up straight away and never see it at all.

So go on, query that agent, make that proposal, try sell your poetry collection – each rejection is a step closer to being published. So don’t give up if you’ve only tried a few times and don’t be disheartened by failure, but instead, be motivated by it.

For after all, failure is going to be a huge part of your life as a writer, it’s just about whether or not you can overcome it or not which means the difference between being great and being mediocre.

And overcoming failure and being great, that certainly makes for some:

Happy writing!


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