humor / writers tips / writing

It’s OK to Fail Over and Over and Try Again

Sometimes, when my blues become black, I wonder why I can’t quit this painful addiction called writing. Then, I re-watch 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


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 over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

28 thoughts on “It’s OK to Fail Over and Over and Try Again

  1. That was so totally brilliant. I’ve got the stupid gene too. I think it’s critical to remember we all feel this, published or not, the difference with a published writer, I suppose, is that they know that to work in spite of feelings of failure is to succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How to Amplify your Writing Career or 6 Bad Writing Habits to Drop Right Now | WordDreams...

  3. It has also got to do with what you define as “success”. If “success” is what gives you the satisfaction of a job well done, external rejections will matter less. Of course, you do need to pay your bills, and all that stuff, but, as a writer, you are not a “failure”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I fail every time I write a sentence, it isn’t what was in my head. I just go on writing, regardless. SOme day, the image in my brain would match the one I evoke in that of my reader. Until then, I shall continue to fail, and hopefully, fail better each time.


    • ‘Fail better each time’–well said. The way we write–that’s our voice. That’s not failure because it doesn’t sound like someone else. I try to accept that people who think my writing needs work might simply be saying they aren’t a fan of my writerly voice.


  5. Great video, Jacqui. I really enjoyed the humour, and we really have to be able to laugh at ourselves. I agree whole-heartedly about having durability. I also think we have to try and try again, even when we fail – we achieve many things along the way😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that has as much to do with luck as talent. Look at the amazing people who weren’t famous until after their death. And then there are the completely average people (names withheld) who are raucously successful. Go figure.


  6. One of my favorite quotes: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson


  7. It’s more than a fear of failing. It’s the anxiety that it’ll be good, but not good enough. Not the good that wakes us up at night, knowing (not thinking), knowing what a character knows, and understanding his or her next move viscerally. Can we capture that? Can our words convey that knowingness, that certainty? Because that’s what we want. We know we can be storytellers, and that’s a good thing, but we want more. We want the life’s blood of our story and of our characters, to flow in the veins and arteries of the readers–nothing less. If we fail to capture that, what is the point? It is that that sometimes holds us back and that has us revisiting the dreaded edit table again and again. If we do not throw ourselves into capturing that, we’re pretenders. The awesome responsibility of creating a character and then writing them well enough to be themselves so fully that their pains and their triumphs are as recognizable as their features, that is what makes us crazy.


    • Well said, AV. And true. My paleo-historic fiction is particularly of that mode. I want so badly to put readers in the world our ancient forebears experienced, I end up thinking I can’t succeed. But, it’s not in me to give up so I edit.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great thought Jacqui.

    So what is at the core of our being afraid of failing? Mostly, it is the fear of showing up poorly in front of peers. But such fear comes only when we do not have clarity or faith in our underlying passions. So, I would like to redraft the question as under:

    ‘What do we need to do to gain insight and access our inner passions?’


    Liked by 2 people

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