Wordy Wednesday (“On Failing”)

Several of my friends lately have had major disappointments, namely involving not getting roles in their school plays… and I know this is little consolation, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the matter.

The following poem is titled “5:15 PM,” and although I wrote it back in September of 2010, it’s still the first thing I think of when I don’t get something I want, be it a part in a play, or a college acceptance, or a request from a lit agent. It’s about that moment when you get the email, and you’re scared to open it… and then it’s loading… and then you’re reading the first line, and it sounds so optimistic, but you know they’re about to drop the bombshell.


Still holding on
To that last moment of hope
And begging
To go back to yesterday,
Any day,
Because today is just
Not real,
Not right


It’s a horrible moment, realizing all of your efforts — all of your practicing, and studying, and editing — have been for naught. Maybe you cry, maybe you’re numb, but in the end you’ve got a decision to make: You choose your own attitude. Either you can give up and say they’re right, or you can keep pushing through ’til you’ve proven them wrong.

I know it’s hard. I know it’s going to hurt. But it’s either that or give up, and you’ve never truly failed until you do give up. As long as you keep moving forward, as long as you keep your sights on the horizon, you haven’t failed. Whatever bad thing that’s happened is just a minor setback, and in the end it’ll be just another memory along your path to succeeding.

You can’t learn how to fly until you learned how to fall.

I recently began putting together an album of “quotes” — short snippets that pop into my head that I think might actually be worthwhile at some point. Below are some of my ones on failing:


(Photo from: http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Texas/State_Railroad.html)

We can all do great things if we just set our minds to it and believe in ourselves. Life’s going to throw us some curve balls, sometimes our dreams are going to change or seem impossible, and I can guarantee that things aren’t always going to go the way we want them to (in fact, they probably aren’t going to about 99% of the time). But you can either give up and drown, or you can learn to ride the waves.

It’s all up to you. Everything. If you don’t accept defeat, you’ll have no choice but to win, and eventually you’ll be looking back at this time and thinking of how far you’ve come.

So go out and get ’em.

T-minus 2 days to the Writer’s Digest Conference 2012!!!!!!!


15 thoughts on “Wordy Wednesday (“On Failing”)

  1. Pingback: Blogging Is Hard | Julia the Writer Girl

  2. Yeah. I’m definitely wayy late in replying to this blog entry, but let me just begin by saying “Thank you!” You’re such a strong, persistent, and inspiring girl. This week has been tough to get through. I’ve been so stressed out about college, and it’s weird because I’m done with college applications. I’m sending out my last financial aid packet tomorrow. All I need to do is wait for April 1st. But waiting…gosh, that truly is the hardest part to do. Especially when I hear that two boys in my town have both gotten early letters from their selective college, which I also applied to, saying “Yeah…we definitely want you. Though we won’t send out the official notifications until April 1st, we just want you to know that you WILL get in.” Ha! And it just freaks me out so much because I haven’t heard a whisper out of my admissions officers. It is the most nerve-wracking experience ever. My mind has a tendency of spiraling into deeper and darker thoughts. I start thinking about what it would feel like to be rejected by everyone… I know… And nothing’s even happened yet.

    But anyways, I told this story just so I can truly say how thankful I am for this blog post. It is wonderful. It is just what I needed. No. I do not know what is up ahead. And it will not be easy, sitting at school, at home, just chewing on my nails and waiting anxiously–ever so anxiously–but I love your words: “You can either give up and drown, or you can learn to ride the waves.” I will ride those waves until April 1st. And if April 1st gives me more waves, I’ll try to keep my head above the water and gradually, gradually pull myself back up again. Thanks again Julia!


    • Oh gosh, Merry!! *massive hug* I’m sorry you have to go through all of that right now. But you’re super smart and an amazing person and I’m sure you’ll get in. 🙂 BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! You can do it!!


  3. Thanks, Jules 🙂 This is definitely what I needed after all of this crazy play stuff and everything. Your poem is amazing, it describes everything PERFECTLY. All of those quotes are SUCH good pick-me-uppers (uppers??? WHAT??? Words are WEIRD) They really inspired me; thanks for posting this, you ROCK 🙂


    • No, YOU rock Teresa! 😀 I’ve been in the same situation as you’re in right now, and all I can really say is to keep pushing through it and make the best of the opportunity that you HAVE been given. Some kids, like me, would die to be on stage right now (no pun intended), even if it’s just for a chorus role.

      For last year’s spring musical, I was delegated to being an ensemble member (and not even a featured one or anything) after having a principle role in the show previous and assistant directing the spring musical the year before, and it hurt REALLY REALLY badly, but I did the best I could as one of the fifty gazillion ensemble kids, and I actually got shout outs from people for doing such a good job at it.

      If you put your all into it, you’re going to stand out no matter where they place you. 🙂 GOOD LUCK WITH THE SHOW!! ❤


  4. Thanks Julia! This is exactly what I needed to hear right now! I’ve been having a hard time with my classes and for a little while I even have been doubting if I can get everything done on time to graduate. I’ve also been worried that my audition this weekend at UNH to study flute performance won’t go well. This was the perfect pick-me-up. Thanks! =]


    • Awww you too?
      I’m so sorry. I hope you have a good time anyway (we’re ALL pretty much hoping this):)

      You know…
      We should start a club.
      How ’bout
      *drum roll*
      The Mrs. Cast Society

      Get it, cus we’re girls

      and we were victims of a…miscast?

      *is cheesy*


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