January 7, 2014

There's no Failure in Writing

Dear M,

Everyone makes a big deal of "succeeding" as a writer. But the truth is, everyone who makes an attempt and is sincere about it, dedicated and determined as much as they can be, is a success.

I do not mean in a philosophical way. Think about it. Basically all we want (at the start) is to get published. We think that's the "success" we are talking about. But if we get published by a small-time publisher who doesn't have time or resource to sell our books, then it is not a success. And if we did get noticed by a big publisher and the readers reject us (or worse, ignore us) then we aren't a success. If we did get a tremendous response to our first book, and the second was a disaster (the comparison is unavoidable), then we aren't a success.

See? Like someone said, failure is inevitable. The only question is How and Where. And the more important question is, What do you do next?

In the beginning, we don't see beyond the first step. It is not a success, it is perhaps a milestone. It is only a landmark by the side of the road. The highway stretches far far beyond that.

The only failure that we can bestow on ourselves is giving up. The only award we can promise ourselves is the strength we attain after crossing the failures and still going on. The only happiness we can offer ourselves is the one we get when we look back and see the struggles we have endured. The only success we achieve (and the best one I can think of) is being proud of what we've written, not because someone said it is good, but because we feel that we have created something wonderful.

Have I said anything you haven't heard so far?


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