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Free To Fail

I enlisted the help of several authors who knew something of fame in their work, yet surprisingly had much to say about failure. In truth, these authors aren’t answering the specific questions I pose, but their wisdom in the field of writing is worth considering.

We will start with a question writers will often ask themselves or others about their craft and then review an applicable quote from a noted author.

Just the thought of submitting my work to a publisher makes me a nervous wreck, what if they don’t like it?

“If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.” -- Woody Allen

I’ve always felt as if I have to write the best possible story every time I sit down to write. Is that healthy?

“If you don't allow yourself the possibility of writing something very, very bad, it would be hard to write something very good.” -- Steven Galloway

Do you think I should just keep my manuscript and revise until I’m satisfied with it?

“The story is always better than your ability to write it. My belief about this is that if you ever get to the point that you think you’ve done a story justice, you’re in the wrong business.” -- Robin McKinley

What if an article I have written turns out to be substandard?

“You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday.” -- Jonathan Swift

Do you think I will ever get used to receiving rejection slips?

“It is defeat that turns bone to flint; it is defeat that turns gristle to muscle; it is defeat that makes men invincible. Do not then be afraid of defeat. You are never so near to victory as when defeated in a good cause.” -- Henry Ward Beecher

What if I keep working at my writing, but never become rich and famous?

“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” -- Ray Bradbury

These well noted authors experienced the same defeat and rejection you have, yet they refused to give up. Becoming a success in writing is rarely overnight and is typically a subtle move from small success to another small success. The compounding of those little, seemingly insignificant events are the ones that will most likely have meaning in retrospect.

Submitted by:

Scott Lindsay

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of FaithWriters (http://www.faithwriters.com) and many other web projects. FaithWriters has grown to become one of the largest online destinations for Christian writers. Please visit the website at: http://www.faithwriters.com


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