By Matt Sinclair
I’m happy to say I’m getting used to failure. Mind you, I don’t like it all that much, but it beats the alternative. No, not success, that’s not what I mean. The alternative is not trying at all.
Frankly, I believe failure and success are close kin. I don’t think you can one without the other as they each help develop one’s perspective. And failure done right can and should lead to success.
Why “should”? Because sometimes failure leads to not trying again. Heck, success probably can lead that way, too.
In the years when I frequently attended trade conferences as a reporter, I learned that the lessons from failure tend to be closely guarded secrets. One simple reason stands out: let your competitors make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons.
To some extent that makes sense. As a father, I’ve seen firsthand that a child learns better when they overcome an obstacle that previously seemed insurmountable. But we also like to share here at FTWA.
What example to share of my own failings? Well, Over the past several months I’ve failed to trust my instincts on a couple matters related to my writing and publishing. I knew something was not right, but I decided a work was “good enough.” The response I got eventually showed me that I was wrong in that assessment. Seeing months of rejection of a work that I once thought “good enough” can keep even the strongest character from moving forward.
The goal, however, is to learn from the failure. Then adapt.
How about you, any lessons from failure you’re willing to share here? Or do you prefer to keep them close to the vest?
Matt Sinclair, a New York City-based journalist and fiction writer, is also president and chief elephant officer of Elephant's Bookshelf Press, which is hours away from publishing Winter’s Regret: What Might Have Been, the final edition of its Seasons Series of anthologies. The other titles in the series, all available through Amazon and Smashwords, are: Spring Fevers, Summer's Edge and Summer's Double Edge, and The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse. Matt blogs at the Elephant's Bookshelf and is on Twitter @elephantguy68.