Wednesday, May 04, 2016

IWSG: The Only Way to Fail...

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means hundreds of us will be posting about our insecurities. This month I'm a co-host, which means I get to help Ninja Warrior Alex out! It also means a lot of new people will be stopping by (*waves*).



Many of us are still recovering from the whirlwind that was this:



The goal of A to Z is to make new friends and have fun. Oh, and to challenge ourselves to blog every day.



As usual, not everyone made it to the end of the challenge. Some stopped at A. Some never made it past D. Many others dropped out along the way. That's okay...



People feel that they've "failed" if they don't make it all the way to Z. I feel they succeeded the day they published their "A" posts.



The same thing goes for National Novel Writing Month in November. Thousands of people sign up to try to write an entire novel in a month. Some people never sign up at all. Why?



Some make it to day 5 or day 10 or even day 20 and stop for whatever reason. They see themselves as failures. Failures. Despite the fact that by mere virtue of trying, they now have thousands--maybe even tens of thousands--of words they wouldn't have had otherwise. They can then keep writing in December, January, and beyond and have a full manuscript much more quickly than they would have.



Don't be afraid to set lofty goals. Then reach for those goals with all you have. Do your best...you can't fail as long as you try.

85 comments:

  1. Very true! All those words that might not have been written otherwise. Just writing is a big score.

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    1. And the friends you meet that you wouldn't have met--even if it's just a few!

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  2. Well said, Stephanie. If only one step is taken, you're that much closer than you were.

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    1. I agree. So many are afraid to even try.

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  3. And be as kind to yourself as you are to others...
    Something we often do fail at.

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    1. Great point! We're always harder on ourselves.

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  4. Doing just a little bit at a time is definitely better than doing nothing at all.

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  5. It was the fear of failure that kept me going in the A to Z challenge. As well as fulfilling the commitment I'd made to myself. I think I'll give the NaNo a try this year. As you point out, I've chickened out in the past due to fear, even though I made a whole other bunch of excuses :) Great post, Stephanie.

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    1. Sometimes that fear can push you forward. I always pre-wrote my A to Zs...so March was busy with writing them and that freed me up for the craziness of April. Anyone participating next year might find that advice helpful!

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  6. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." What a great quote. And yup, just gotta keep tapping away. Eventually all this practice has to pay off.

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    1. That one's my favorite. I say it quite often. You always have to try.

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  7. Love the quote about being more afraid not to try. How many people go through life not even trying to achieve goals and dreams? As much as it hurts sometimes, I'm still glad I tried.

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    1. Definitely. If we hadn't tried, we would have regretted it later in life.

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  8. Write on! Keep up the good work on you! Thanks for hosting. You're a great cheerleader!

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  9. My dad used to say "It's better to aim for the stars and miss than to aim at nothing and hit."

    After the A to Z challenge, I find that I am struggling to post on my regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday scheduled. I'll get it done, but it's a struggle.

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge Reflections and #IWSG

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    1. I ended up with a bunch of friends who had books coming out, so it worked out well to get me started again! Plus promoting their books took up a few days I would have had to write posts otherwise!

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  10. What? Me fail? Never. ;) I didn't so much participate in the challenge this year--wanted to--but it turns out, it's a darn good thing I didn't. I loved all the posts I did see, but it was sad missing all the awesome I know was happening. Maybe next year?

    I agree with you about not trying. Except for NaNo. That's insanity, man! (Yes, I've done it twice.)

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    1. It was my last year participating. And yeah, NaNo was crazy. I did it once...made it to the end, but once you're published, it's hard to control your schedule enough to write for a month. Revisions often arrive when you least expect them!

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  11. you are very correct. Just sitting around thinking about doing something is not the same as executing said plan. It takes a lot of steps forwards and backwards, but progress can be made. Excellent post

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    1. Every little bit puts us closer to our goal.

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  12. Amen, Stephanie. Doing our best is all that matters.

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  13. This applies to life, not just writing and blogging. Like the old adage, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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  14. You're so inspirational, Stephanie! Thanks, from the stopper at D! :D

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  15. Very true! I know I've barely squeaked by in November quite a few times, but I give it my best every time!

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  16. Love that quote "Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid to try." Thanks. Need to hear that.

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  17. Love your post today. Can I get an "Amen!" Keep writing, dreaming, and creating.
    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  18. I love this kind of inspiration!

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  19. I completely agree - as long as you've given it your best shot, it's not failing!
    Debbie

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  20. You're right. In a lot of cases, failure means not trying at all.

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  21. I agree with you, but I won't tackle NaNoWriteMo. I know I would spew unusable garbage if I forced an entire book out that fast. I really want to become a plotter.

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  22. Failing isn't an option but rather a choice we make if we don't take the chances in life. It feels real, but we can move forward and be successful, even if others don't agree. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.

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  23. This makes me think of a great quote:

    "Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett

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  24. Love your message in this post. Thank you. AND thanks for co-hosting!

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  25. You're so right, Stephie, you're not failing if you try. Imagine if nobody ever tried ever! Scary thought. Thanks so much for co-hosting. It's really appreciated.

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  26. Well said. Every once in a while, it's good to be reminded that failure is part of success.

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  27. For me it's not fear of failure, it's pure LAZY. It's way too much work.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  28. Amen Steph! I have never won a 'rimo' but I still try because I have started some amazing stuff I would not have without it. Trying is not failure.

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  29. Stephanie, excellent post!!!!!

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  30. Well said! You don't fail if you keep trying. :) Thank you for co-hosting today.

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  31. I always break it down if the bar is too high. That way I can meet some of my goals. ;-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  32. You can only fail if you never try. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  33. That's kind of why I have never sent anything in for publication. Too afraid someone will say no. In a way, I'm telling myself no.

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  34. That's a great way to look at things. =)

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  35. Perfect timing for some pertinent points! Best of all are the friendships created in the process:-) That alone is inspiration.

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  36. Some of us don't sign up for NaNo because that's not the way we write. But your point is valid. The most important thing is to try. To start. Because starting is the hardest part.

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  37. I was going to call you inspirational, but I see that other commenters got there first! So I'll just say: terrific post. Thanks.

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  38. Happy IWSG Day. Thanks for co-hosting this month. Love your meme tour post. Well done. Great post.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  39. Thanks so much for the positive post Stephanie - it's exactly what I needed to hear this month :). I'm so scared of failure in both my writing and my personal life right now (I don't cope well with change!), but you're right, you can't let it stop you from living the life you want.

    Thanks for co-hosting :)!

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  40. So true! And not just for writers. Thanks, Stephanie!

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  41. Thanks for hosting (smile) Blessings!!

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  42. I *failed* NaNoWriMo, but *won* the A to Z challenge for the second year running. It's taken a while, but I'm starting to get my head around the fact that NaNoWriMo wasn't a *fail* but a great learning opportunity and that even though a *won* the A to Z Challenge, it too was a great learning opportunity.

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  43. This is such an inspiring post, Stephanie! Thanks for writing it and thanks for co-hosting the IWSG today! Love that Wayne Gretzky quote, so simple, so true!. It's hard sometimes not to get down, and it's always wonderful to hear about others who are moving forward even if they're staring the fear of failure down! Happy writing in May!

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  44. Agreed! We set high goals, and then beat ourselves up when we don't make them. Instead, focus on what you DID accomplish in that time. Anything is more than nothing.

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  45. I don't see myself as a failure for not completing A to Z. I'm too old to see myself as a failure for something like that. I did what I could, and that was enough.

    Piper Presley
    Returns: Insecure Writer's Support Group

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  46. True words. The A-Z was a fun challenge.

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  47. If the Great Gretsky said it, it must be true. The A to Z is a real challenge. Many who tried didn't finish but I'm sure they learned something from the experience.

    Susan Says

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  48. The Gretzky quote is the one I end my author talks with because I love it! What a great post! You are so right- trying is not failure!! Loved this post. :)

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  49. Love the quotes, esp. the last one by Gretzky. Live so you have no regrets about what you didn't do--my motto. Thanks for co-hosting and congrats on finishing A-Z Challenge.

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  50. Stephanie, thanks for your inspiring comments. I know I have given up at attempts to publish my short stories as I couldn't find magazines that matched my interests and style of writing. I need to jump back in the saddle again ... but I'll wait until after I'm settled in our apartment. Thanks for your inspiration and support.

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  51. Great advice and so true. Sometimes I'm afraid to start something new, afraid, like you said, that I'll fail. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. I'll never know unless I try. I'm pounding that into my head.

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  52. Wonderful advice, Stephanie. I always have a tinge of apprehension when I embark on something new, but I keep plugging away at it. I keep telling myself "there is no try, only do or do not" and I would rather be doing :)

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  53. Sometimes we need to remember to pat ourselves on the back for even the little steps we take.

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  54. What an encouraging post. It's true. Big steps in the right direction gives us courage and drive we never knew we had. Thank you for cohosting this month.

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  55. I love that last quote! So so true!!!! I didn't even try A to Z . . . I'm trying to catch my breathe with life lol. I owe you a review, and it will be written soon! (hint: I LOVED 25 Roses!!! Very cute and positive) <3

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  56. This is such an inspiring post! So true that you really only fail when you don't try!

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  57. Great words as I approach the end of a first draft that did not thrill me as much as I hoped it would. Part of me has been wondering whether it's worth trying to revise, or if I should just move on to another project.

    But there must be a reason I've kept writing until the end. (I abandoned my previous project, so I know when something is DOA.) I have to try to polish this thing up -- or I have failed it rather than it failing me.

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  58. I love your positive attitude about these and other challenges. Wonderful advice! Thank you.

    Mary Montague Sikes
    Notes Along the Way
    The Artful Way

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  59. So very true. Thanks for the inspiring words, and for co-hosting!

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  60. Very encouraging! Love the positive attitude!

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  61. Yes, absolutely! Thanks for the inspiration to keep going.

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  62. I completely agree! Try, try, then try again. Not trying is the first step to failure. Best, Becca

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  63. Great images. Great words. Great thoughts. Thanks.

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  64. Great images. Great words. Great thoughts. Thanks.

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  65. Love the encouragements here, Stephanie. And they're all true. Failure is an important part of our career because it's sobering. The trick is not to get defeated.

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  66. The adventure is in the attempt. Gives us something to talk about around a favorite beverage - or camp fire :)

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  67. Great post! It can seem so much easier not to try if that means not failing, though it means never succeeding either!

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  68. I just love what you wrote because it is so true and congrats to all the people who finished and a special congrats to all the people who tried because...you tried!

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  69. Well said! These are lessons I try to teach to my children about life.
    I have enjoyed finding your blog this month through the challenge. I do hope to see you here in Knoxville sharing your books, perhaps at the Children's Festival of Reading? That would be grand.

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  70. Great post, and so short. Can't imagine trying to keep up with 80 comments. I guess you just don't reply to each one. Basically, that's why I decided last minute to join the Challenge again, because it always pushes me to do more than I would otherwise have done. Maui Jungalow

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  71. Great words of motivation! A great reminder that just the effort of trying is better than not doing anything at all.

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    1. Oh, and thanks for co-hosting this month! It must be hard right after the A to Z!

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  72. This is an amazing post. I'm very encouraged by your words.

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  73. Very true. As cheerleader for NaNoWriMo, I say the same thing all November. The only way to truly fail is to never try.

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