How to deal with Failure

How to deal with failure – an observation and commentary.

By Daniel Ottalini

man-yelling-at-computerEveryone fails. Be honest here. At some point in your life, you will fail at something. Maybe it’s not getting that promotion or being told you’re being let go. Maybe it is part of your hobby or something within your family. Maybe it even involves your writing. But everyone has that point where they are face to face with failure.

So…how do you deal with it? How do you get beyond the feeling that you’ve done everything wrong and it is all your fault?

First, get back on your feet. Realize that sometimes, you did everything right (or ‘write’ so-to-speak), and it still wasn’t good enough for the situation.

Second, learn from the failure. Thomas Edison spent years trying to invent a lightbulb. When asked why he didn’t give up, he responded (paraphrase form) that he didn’t just fail to invent a lightbulb, but he discovered 100 ways how not to make a lightbulb. So learn from your mistakes and failures. Personally, I’ve learned how to be a better communicator, a better author, and even a (slightly) better publicist because of my mistakes.

Third, be willing to ask for help. Sometimes, you will not know why it was that you failed. Your submission wasn’t accepted, or your proposal wasn’t picked. Obviously, not all situations will provide the opportunity to ask for feedback, but still it is helpful to ask. Any decent person in most fields with time and desire can provide you with feedback, and some will.

Finally, look for the support of your peers. This is why it is good practice for authors to get novels beta read before sending it off to the editor, and why professional authors have multiple editors examine their work. One person is not the end-all, be-all of authority and wisdom. Find a good support group and see how you can grow.

And when in doubt, take a hot shower, eat some chocolate, and go to bed early. That always helps too.

Author: Daniel Ottalini

Author of the Award-Winning Steam Empire Chronicles Series

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