Reader Friday: Failing Up

“In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.” — Tom Brady

Applies to writers, too?

10 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Failing Up

  1. Absolutely. I have a daily word-count goal of 3000 words per day. (I write 1000 words per hour, a blazing fast 🙂 17 words per minute). Occasionally I fall short of my goal by a few hundred or even a thousand. But I don’t see that as failure; I see it as “failing to success.” How many words would I have written if I didn’t have that goal driving me to the computer? And the goal resets every morning. It’s a great life.

    If you set a goal to write one short story every week for a year but miss a few times, how can having “only” 49 new short stories in a year be considered a failure?

  2. Your opening statement is a shortened version of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote. I believe every writer has to have this in their DNA.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  3. “Because I know I still have more to prove.”

    For me, it’s not about proving anything. I just finished a novel by James L. Rubart, “The Pages of Her Life”. A brother and sister spend the first third or so of their lives trying to prove to their now dead father that they’re worthy of his love and acceptance.

    That story spoke to me. I wish I’d learned years ago that I’m just fine. My story might not be fine the way it is, but I am. What I do is not who I am…yet. With each miss-the-mark word, sentence, paragraph, or chapter, if I am true to who I am, I. Will. Learn. That’s the bottom line for me.

    The stories and characters in my head just won’t go away. I know I still have more to write.

    There will never be a perfect story. But there’s always a reader out there, including myself, who needs that imperfect story. You know, the one that helps to explain our imperfect existence on this imperfect planet.

  4. I love these quotes!. For me, failure is not a lack of success but a lack of trying. It’s been said here many times that persistence is the key to accomplishment.

    Sorry to make this short, but I’m heading back to the arena. ?

  5. For me, it’s the effort that counts.

    “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt.

  6. Confession: When I fail in my writing life, I fall hard. It’s true I dare big, but it makes the fall all the harder. Yes, I do learn. It just takes a while to kick in. I feel a little guilty for not being on the enthusiasm bandwagon, but we are all on different journeys, yes?

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