“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better”
I am not a person that likes to make mistakes in public.
And I am squeamish about the subject of failure.
But here I am publicly declaring that I have failed more than a few times.
I have given up, quit, stopped, thrown in the towel.
I have been: rejected, dismissed, ignored, misunderstood.
I have faltered, and stumbled and fumbled and messed up in many ways.
And I have lived to tell you about it here.
The reason I do this is simple.
It’s to remind myself to keep going despite failing.
And it’s even more important to know and accept that most assuredly we
will trip over our own limitations
and tumble over our own foolish mistakes.
The thing is to keep going anyway.
This is the only way to defeat the malaise–
to go boldly past the fear–
to leap across the emptiness that will be there.
The thing is to stand courageous in the face of our fear.
And especially — the kind of fear that disguises itself as:
self pity, self doubt, or worse judgement and criticism of
I am learning–to leap past these creativity killers or
go directly to Creativity Jail–a dank depressing place where you
hear recordings of how badly you suck– played in heavy rotation.
Write your play, your novel, your screen play, your poem–
or write something else. Make a list. Write a letter. Just keep going.
Practice. Practice practice.
And remember some fearful part of your self
will try to stop you—
-not enough knowledge.
-not enough imagination.
-not enough time
-not enough credit
-not enough positive feedback
-not enough originality
-not enough energy
-not enough ability
-not enough clarity
-not enough talent
-not enough money
-not enough space
-not enough mental acuity
-not enough privacy
-not enough experience.
-not enough patience.
Don’t listen to that part of yourself.
If you don’t have enough of something
figure out how to get it but keep going.
Keep Going. My motto in life.
Here are a few of my favourite quotes on the subject
You fail only if you stop… Ray Bradbury
“I never know where I am going with a painting. I only know where I’ve been, and frankly, I believe that every painter is in a state of continual failure. The only constant in a painter’s life is failure” William Bailey
Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. Truman Capote
and my most favourite of all from Emily Carr
“I thought my mountain was coming this morning. It was near to speaking when suddenly it shifted, sulked, and returned to smallness. It has eluded me again and sits there, puny and dull. Why?”
Oh and by the way. If you want to do yourself a favour immediately to help you keep going–
buy a copy of Stephen Pressfield’s WAR OF ART and DO THE WORK