Happiness, Writing Discussion

The Benefits of Failure

Rejection. It’s something every writer has to come to terms with.

A folder of short story rejections lives in the back of my filing cabinet. At the moment there are only a few sheets in it, but I’m working on filling it up. Why? Because every rejection is something concrete. Like a hairline fracture or a battle scar, the rejections are a reminder that my mettle has been tested. More importantly, every rejection is proof that I’ve been writing.

Sure it hurts. I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t, but every time I get a rejection, I stop to think about what I need to improve for next time.

Then I eat some chocolate.

Then I get back to writing.

Honestly, if you learn from what you did wrong, then you haven’t really failed. If you refuse to give up, then you haven’t really failed.

Still there are days when I feel insecure and the writer’s blues linger. If you’re feeling down, I recommend watching this video. J.K. Rowling reminds the graduating class at Harvard of the benefits of failure. You’ll feel better after. I promise.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

I also recommend the chocolate.