It’s a nasty word that F word. No one likes to hear it, especially if it’s being applied to them, but sometimes we just have to face facts and admit that we have failed. Of course, we can’t fail unless we have some measure of what success means, and the higher our idea of success, the easier it is to fail. Aiming high is a risk, but if we don’t aim high, we may be limiting ourselves.
Failure is subjective. One person’s idea of success may be another’s idea of failure, so on a mental level, we can sidestep it quite easily by changing our idea of success, but on an emotional level, it’s harder to wriggle away from.
Warning: the rest of this post may be uncomfortable for some readers.
Last night I felt like a failure and it was a strange feeling, kind of liberating in a way because once you’ve failed there’s no where lower to go, but it’s also a heavy depressing feeling especially if you consider that the last five years of your life just might have been a waste of time.
Generally, we don’t like to talk about failure. The online writing community likes to support and inspire each other and that’s great, but the truth of the matter is that some of us will fail, but I can tell you that at the same time as being miserable, it isn’t so bad. I’ll tell you why in another post. For now let’s look at why I feel like a failure.
My initial aim in writing Lethal Inheritance was to write something not only good but also something that would help millions of readers understand their mind and find mental peace and clarity. I did that. The fact that Debbie Golvan wanted to represent me proved to me that it was good. My beta readers assured me that it also achieved my aims in helping readers at least become aware the power of their mind. However, I have failed to get it to millions of readers. In fact, I have failed to get it to any readers apart from the beta readers and the publishers who have rejected it.
The nasty truth is that most writers also fail to find a publisher. (Apparently the figure is that only 5% do) We all like to think that we will be one of the ones who do, but it really is much more likely that we won’t. Those of you who have read this blog for a while will know how close I have come to finding one and how supportive some of my rejections have been, but after 2 years with my agent, I still don’t have a publisher. Is it any wonder that I’m feeling like I might be wasting my time?
Yes, I can publish independently through Catapult Press and I will if the few remaining publishers don’t come through, but the American agent Debbie often works with also rejected my manuscript which cuts off our hopes for picking up something from the US market. So it’s not looking good. I also know that Indie publishing won’t get the book to the same numbers of people as it would with a traditional publisher. I also know that it’s bloody hard work for little return. Yeah, I’ve failed at that as well. (I’ll do another post on the details)
This feeling has sapped my desire to write but I’m still at it, writing blog posts and working on my magical realism montage of scenes. Why, because I can’t not do it and because once you’ve failed things can only get better. Also, I love what I write. What I’m writing now is even more outside the box and though some people will love it, others will undoubtedly misunderstand it. I’ve always been an artist of one kind or another and it’s always been the way with everything I have ever done. Why did I think this would be any different?
I’m sorry if I’ve depressed you. This is simply reality. But I’m okay because really there is nothing to do. I’m happy just being and I’m going to put my work out there for those of you who will enjoy it despite its faults.
I’d really appreciate your comments, even if just to know that there are real people out there.