humor / writers tips / writing

Writer’s Tip #77: It’s OK to Fail Over and Over and Try Again

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

This one hit home. Sometimes, when my blues become black, I wonder why I can’t quit this painful profession called writing. Then, I remember Yuvi Zalkow’s video:

Episode 5: Writing in the Cold (I’m A Failed Writer Series) from Yuvi Zalkow on Vimeo.

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More on the humor of writing:

14 Things Writers Do Before 8am

8 Things Writers Can Do No One Else Can

15 Traits Critical to a Successful Writer

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. 

16 thoughts on “Writer’s Tip #77: It’s OK to Fail Over and Over and Try Again

  1. Pingback: Writers Tip #85: Nathan Bransford’s 10 Commandments | WordDreams...

  2. Finally got around to watching the video. Thanks for sharing. In some ways, it reflects my view that the journey (or process) is the only worthwhile goal and that there is no certainty that the outcome of any part of that journey will be even remotely similar to what you had expected.


  3. Once I had a friend whose one desire was to be a jazz singer. Her day job was as an accountant. She was a wonderful person–she was a civil rights activist, she was warm and generou. She had an uncanny sense of grace in moving through her own space, and still maintaining her sense of self when engaging in a group. I could see why she found the performing arts so appealing. From my perspective, the only problem was that she couldn’t sing. It was painful, almost excruciating, to watch and listen. She would appear for open mike events–and clear the room. She took lessons. Her heart and soul were in it–but not her voice.
    Who was I to discourage her? The best advice I could give was to follow her dream, but in the interim, to keep the day job.
    I wonder sometimes whether writing is my own little eddy of cognitive dissonance. It may be the case, like competence, that those who aren’t–who can’t–don’t know, can’t know, precisely because they lack the skill to judge it in the first place. I’ve had some small critical success. I’m glad that some people like what I write. I’d do it anyway, though. I knew that I might be in trouble when my dad, who loved my first novel, warned, “Keep it up, but don’t quit the day job.”


    • ‘…eddy of cognitive dissonance’–now that’s a keeper. Love it.

      Great story, AV. My son was like that though gave up singing in elementary school for the same reasons your friend should have. He so loved it and was tone deaf. Oddly, he turned into a fabulous string bass player.

      Dads can tell you stuff others can’t. Thanks for sharing. I’m going over to see how your building is going (on your new cabin/house)…


    • That’s just not right, Tess. They’re i*****. They know nothing! They probably were looking for the next Gone Girl and got Upcoming Tess instead. Not a reflection on your writing.

      OK. I’m angry.


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