Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let's try that again

Ha! Sorry, I was trying to post from my ipad, and well, apparently, I failed. Oh, the irony.

Anyway, as I was saying....here is that original post.

I'm at a really wonderful writers conference this weekend (Moonlight and Magnolias, held by the Georgia Romance Writers association) and it has me thinking about, of all things, failure. And it also has me thinking about bravery, two things that are inexorably (boy, I hope I'm using that word right) linked.

When I'm sitting across from a writer who is pitching their book to me, I'm often feeling a little overwhelmed and a little bit overtired. A conference is an intense experience for everyone, writers and agents alike. But here's what i want you to know: when I'm sitting there I'm also thinking about how brave I think you are and how much I admire you for taking a chance and telling me about the book that is, after all, your heart and soul. It takes real guts to expose yourself like that. Being a writer is so personal that trying to "make it" really does require so much more courage than other professions.

What's really brave is that you're doing this even though chances are high that you're going to fail. Now, let's qualify this: we are all going to fail. We will fail in our careers, we will fail as parents, as friends, as spouses or boyfriends or girlfriends. And if you're reading this, you're going to fail as a writer. (And by the way, don't forget that I will also sometimes fail as an agent.) What this means is that when you're sitting across from me you're bravely embracing your failure. You're acknowledging that it will happen and you're steeling yourself to move on. For at the other side of failure lies lessons learned. And lessons learned are the only authentic way to success.

So be brave. Fail. Try again. Succeed. Rinse and repeat.

And I'll see you across the pitching table some day soon....