^^ The place I spend the most time while at home. ^^
Lately, I’ve been trying to embrace failing with as deeply and thoughtfully as I do success. Being a writer is weird. That is both the best and most useless way I can describe it. Often my high lasts about 30 minutes after my piece gets published and then it’s on to the next deadline, the next interview. It’s easy to stay in comfort zone instead of taking that first tiny, then big, step into the unknown. And that’s where I am right now, smack dab in the gray space between routine writing and the dream pieces I’d like to produce.
That space is riddled with anxiety: Am I any good at this? Will I ever be able to write a long form journalism piece that’s meaningful? Is my writing growing at all? Am I stalling it? Helping it? Will I ever truly make it as a writer?
And the only cure I can think of is to fail. Usually hard – with rejection letters from numerous magazines and red edits across my articles. It’s overwhelming when the waves of no’s continuously hit your inbox, but in the long run, I would much rather fail then stay in the same comfort zone always wondering what was on the other side. Because every once in a while, there is a yes and a tiny, momentous step forward.
I sent in a feature article the other day only to have it rejected by the magazine I typically write for and have another profile come back that needed more edits that normal. Failure reminds me not to be lazy with my writing, that if this is the last piece I get to write, how do I want to approach it? Failure makes me grow and take more and more time to make a piece perfect. It also makes the successes even sweeter.
So despite every fiber arching away from the sensation, fail more. Fail with grace and an openness to learn and the determination to pick yourself back up and move forward. Because failing isn’t the scary part, the scary part is going to sleep every night, in your twin bed, riddled with the question, “But what if I’d just tried …“
Take the risk, if nothing else you and I can grab a beer together in the gray area.
When I need a little inspiration, I often try one of these. Hope it helps.