Because I get to do it again & again!
And every time I do, I get better at it.
Which is very handy. Because being in business for yourself requires a lot of it.
And writing requires, well, an endless supply.
I’m fairly good at failing at writing. I have been failing at that for so long that now I succeed pretty regularly. I’ve won awards, published books, and a ton of stories and essays
And now I get to fail at writing for my business
For a while there, I had a problem with that: I’d forgotten how to fail.
I’d forgotten that making a real hash of things is not just A way forward–but the ONLY way forward. I’d forgotten how to be in love with failure.
Like you are in love with your kids’ worst mess-ups.
It isn’t so much when they do something exquisitely perfect that you truly love them. It’s when they fail spectacularly, singularly–the times they threw up in public or embarrassed you practically to death or were just so perfectly themselves.
Not to mention that it is the parental failures everyone remembers, hopefully with some humor.
I once had a really great laugh at one of my sons running down the hillside at our home in the country to the bus. He had on a silver Lands End down jacket that was really expensive and spectacularly warm and he was running for the school bus, which he hated riding on.
I was late for work and no doubt crabby from too much single-parenting, but watching him run down the side of the hill that day really cracked me up. I was falling about laughing about the “running tin can.”
That boy can really pay back. He never wore that coat again. No matter how much I pleaded or asked for forgiveness. He’d rather go cold than wear that coat again. I had to give it away, hardly used.
Now that is one of the moments we laugh the hardest about–the tin can, the mom mistake, and that poor coat.
So I know from failure. On every front. Parenting. Writing.
But I forget. So when I wrote a post for one of my most admired writer colleagues I was, shall we say, taken aback when it got redmarked. That would be an understatement. It got taken down. More than half of it went under the red pen. I pretty much had to start over. I had to go to bed that night. Early.
And then I got up and re-wrote it. I took every single editorial correction. Because the blogger knows what she is talking about. And I could learn a lot.
It is humbling to start over. To know that you have to learn how to write in a different way, even when you’ve had a lot of success with other writing.
And it is also really, really wonderful. It is wonderful that people will take the time to teach you something new. That there is more to learn (we are not dead yet, as the plague victim said to Eric Idle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail).
Thank goodness. We are still alive and learning.
For some of us that is its own reward.
The post went up, lots of people read it, and got a lot out of it.
That is a pretty great reward too.