The Year of Successful Failures


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With only a few days left in 2017, I wanted to take a second to reflect on what I’m calling my year of successful failures. I started 2017 with one major goal: TO FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY BOOK. Anyone familiar with this blog knows that I have been talking about this damn book for a minute. This time last year I had gotten to at least the second act of my manuscript, which was my furthest point. To be sure that I accomplished this major goal of completion, I gave myself another goal that would most likely be an epic fail, and that was to competed in the 2017 Pitch Wars literary competition.

Some of you saw the bio that I posted about myself, my manuscript and the competition. If you are not familiar with Pitch Wars check out the link above, and know that this is one of those things that can launch the career of a debut author. Last year Tomi Adeyemi pulled in over 30 agents with her book Children of Blood and Bone which will hit shelves in March with a movie to follow in the future. This year, one of the standout writers was Rena Barron who landed an agent with her submission of The Last Witchdoctor.

I worked my ass off and managed to squeak out an ugly first draft before the entry date of the competition. I knew entering was a crazy idea but I did it anyway, because at that point there was really more to gain than lose. In the end, I was not fortunate enough to become a 2017 mentee. However, along this journey I did meet some pretty amazing aspiring authors with similar #writergoals as mine. A couple of my new writer buds even put me on to two more author mentor/mentee competitions that I submitted to. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it into any of those either. I did, however, stir up enough interest to get a request for a full draft of my manuscript from  one competition and I was listed as a finalist in the other.

Needless to say, my dream of becoming an agented author with a publishing deal was not fulfilled in 2017. That could be looked at as a failure. I won’t lie to you and say that it didn’t hurt my feelings to have something I created be rejected three times within a short time span, because it did! But I can’t let that pain and rejection put an end to my dream. Since I just watched The Last Jedi, I’m going to quote one of Yoda’s memorable lines from the movie: “The greatest teacher, failure is.” It’s like the little big-eared dude was speaking directly to me.

These writing failures have taught me a lot. Five of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from 2017 are:

(1) Set high goals.
(2) Work your ass off to meet the deadlines of set goals.
(3) Learn from your mistakes and improve upon them.
(4) Set new goals.
(5) Don’t give up.

Some preliminary goals have already been set for 2018, and as you may have guessed, revising my manuscript is at the top of the list. But enough about me. What where some of this year’s “failures” that ended up teaching you something about yourself? Please share in the comment box.

Until next time…