The beauty of failure

“Meet the Robinsons” has to be one of my all time favorite kids movies. I know I’ve mentioned this before, in the “keep moving forward” post, but its message is so universally beneficial that I must bring it up again.

There is a wonderful scene at the Robinson household where a young Lewis tries to fix a “peanut butter and jelly gun”. Subsequently the repair fails, and the gun splatters everyone in the room. Lewis shies away apologizing profusely. The rest of the Robinson household burst into cheers. They tell him that that is one of the best failures they have ever seen, and that only by failing can we truly learn.

This is an undeniable universal truth.

Recently I entered a very big writing contest. After not hearing anything for months I finally got the rejection letter that I was half expecting. Though the irrational part of my brain created dreams of what winning this contest could do for me. It could have propelled my writing career, Might have given me the notoriety I need, or just recognition that a writer so greatly desires.  If nothing else it would have given me some much needed cash.

Alas…no such luck.

I spent some time dwelling on this loss, which I often do when anything deflating happens. A day or two later I received an email from the contest director sending me a link to David Farlands blog.

Here I found a wealth of writing tips that I had not seen before. In particular tips for the editing phase, ways to spruce up your writing. So, I threw away my feelings of defeat, and sat down to learn as much as I possibly could.

In a way perhaps I did win that contest. If I had actually won, then I might not have been directed to David’s site at the exact moment that I’m  sitting down for major edits on my current novel.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more failures…Good…that means I can make my writing the best as it can be.