Saturday, October 26, 2019


Remember the expression, "Failure is not an option?" When it concerns lives, I can understand such an attitude. In any other situation, I think we need to reevaluate what failure means.

Many of you read and like the Harry Potter books, but are you aware J.K. Rowling's original pitch was rejected twelve times? A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle was sent back twenty-six times, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank fifteen times, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, a whopping thirty-eight times. Let's add to the list bicycles, alternating current, the telephone, and personal computers, people thought these were fads. Edison took thousands of tries before he produced a lasting filament for the light bulb.

Failure teaches us. The Bible tells us in Psalm 119:71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes. When people don't fail, they often don't learn. No student ever likes a failing grade, how they react to it is what matters. Will they let it instruct them and grow, or will they admit defeat and stay in the same place?

If you are a parent, how do you react if your child is failing? Do you blame the teacher, or do you take the time to understand your child's issues and help them? Are you angry, or do you show loving concern and ask questions? Some people are terrible at math, others at art, but it doesn't mean they can't learn enough of the subject to pass a class. If you, as the parent, approach failure as something evil, you are creating an atmosphere of anger and fear which hides the underlying problem.

Other authors and I understand failure. We write, pour ourselves into our books, and when they don't sell, we face the question, "what is wrong with us?" The answer many times is, we aren't reaching the audience we intended. This may be the real failure, not what we have written. If I had the magic formula for reaching my audience without spending more than I can ever make, I would be using it. I am not going to stop writing or trying. Most of my author friends and I take failure and use it as a tool to make our work better. The few who don't vanish into obscurity.

Don't let failure in one area of your life slow you down. Learn from it and change what you are doing.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


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