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!!!!!!!