Archive | March, 2016

Writing Failure Lesson #4: Put It in Perspective

“The artist’s life is frustrating not because the passage is slow, but because s/he imagines it to be fast.” David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art and Fear A corollary to Bayles and Orland’s observation is that creativity is frustrating not because we fail, but because we think we should always succeed. Failures are not stop […]

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Writing Failure Lesson #3: Rewrite the Story

Thomas Edison’s genius was partially his ability to rewrite the story. When everyone else said he’d failed 700 times, he had the audacity to claim he hadn’t failed 700 times, he hadn’t even failed once; he had, in fact, successfully found 700 ways that wouldn’t work on his way to ultimate success. Writers need this […]

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Writing Failure Lesson #2: Feel it Fully

As you develop your Edisonian perspective that there is no failure, you’re just discovering ways that don’t work on the way to finding what does work, you’ll probably feel relief. Thank God, I don’t have to worry about failing any more. You might try to talk yourself into false cheer. Alright! Good for me. I’ve […]

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Writing Failure Lesson #1: Don’t!

Thomas Edison’s observation that he had not failed, he’d found 700 ways that didn’t work (or 1,000 or 10,000 depending on the source) is remembered because it is unexpected. Edison’s lesson from failure was to refuse to see it. Most of us couldn’t endure finding 700 ways not to do something. Most of us get […]

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Why Write At All?

My last post claimed that failure is the only option for writers. If I’m correct that writers are destined to fail and the best we can hope for is the perseverance to fail and fail again until we transform a series of failures into something we are satisfied with, why on earth do we write? […]

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