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Friday, May 27, 2016

7 Writing Failures to Celebrate!

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I haven’t met a single person who enjoys failure. 

I certainly don’t. 

But I’ve learned to look at certain failures from a slightly different perspective. 

That change has helped me continue to grow and blossom in an industry that can be brutal.

7 Writing Failures to Celebrate!
  • Rejection. I know, no one likes rejection. But the truth is this, if you’re sending things out and getting rejected then you’re doing the work of a real writer. You’ve taken your dream from wishing to working and you need to applaud that.
  • A Badly Edited Article. It could be a blog post, article, whatever. But the chances are, if you’re getting published regularly, you’re going to be the victim of poor editing. Contrary to wrecking your reputation, consider this an entre into a whole new level of professional writer. Shake it off, give them the benefit of the doubt, and move on.
  • Having to ask for an Extension. Once you begin writing—and selling—regularly, you’ll hit a time when life happens. Missing any kind of a deadline isn’t something we want to do. And you never want to be known as the writer who always requests an time extension, but when catastrophe strikes, communicating with your editor marks you as a professional.
  • Losing a Contest. Entering contests can be a jump start to a writer’s career. But it’s not the path of every single writer you meet. Losing a contest is something to celebrate because again, it means you’re putting your work out there. Give yourself some credit and keep working for your dream.
  • Losing a Contract/Agent. This business is constantly in flux. That means that contracts and personnel aren’t permanent either. There are a lot of reasons that publishers/editors/agents cancel contracts. Some are personal, but those are in the minority. This is the time to celebrate the fact that you actually had a contract and remind yourself you’ll have another one in the future.
  • Going Through a Dry Spell. We can’t always be inspired. There are times when the words flow, almost seeming to dance from our fingers onto the screen. There are other times when those same words are weighted by the clunky concrete known as lack of inspiration. When you find yourself writing through a dry spell celebrate your own discipline. Realize that you are in a tempering place and the resiliency you’re developing now will stand you in good stead in the future.
  • Irritating Someone. I don’t know about you, but I’m a people pleaser. I hate to have anyone unhappy with me. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. There are some of us who just rub each other wrong way. If you are universally loved, the chances are you’re not doing much of anything. Don’t try to irritate others, but be yourself, stand up for your craft and get ready for real life.
I’d love to know what writing failures you’ve experienced that turned out to be worth celebrating. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including While My Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military. She’s also the military family blogger at Her popular blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month, and she’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers ConferenceConnections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers is a print expansion of her bestselling ebook on social media. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, and the Senior Editor for Connect on Twitter and Facebook.



  1. Coping with failure is hard, isn't it? Someone doesn't like our words or understand our intent; someone in authority, be it agent or editor, rejects us; a reviewer is less than kind. We've all been there--or will be there!

    Thanks for your encouraging words, Edie.

  2. Oh yes, the people pleaser pitfall. It's a lifetime challenge to learn to work around this. Thanks for the great post, Edie.

  3. what about setting too lofty a goal? like, i know i *can* write 5K in a day, but i also know ('cause i've tried) that i can't sustain that distractions and time management is another baddy, my mind is all over the place all.the.time (always has been) and reining it in is something that eludes me!
    oh, and the people pleaser thing? Father showed me years ago that's okay, it's who He made us. but it does not translate or equal being a doormat. and yes, saying no is a toughie for me too.


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