“One of the most valuable lessons I learned…is that we all have to learn from our mistakes, and we learn a lot more from those mistakes than we learn from the things we succeeded in doing.” Ann Richard’s, former governor of Texas
How true this is! We all know it in our hearts and yet, mistakes get a bad rap. We want to avoid them—step around those obstacles or rocks in our path, instead of lifting them up and seeing what’s underneath them. More often than not, it’s gold—some nugget of wisdom, hard-earned but useful, that we can use to make our way forward clearer.
Reframing mistakes can help. We can see them as tools that let us dig deeper into what we need to do to improve our craft and make our writing shine more brightly.
“There’s no failure, only feedback. No losing, only learning,” so says my good friend and mentor, Dr. Rob Gilbert*—and I’ve found this to be true. When I take a detour in my writing that doesn’t pan out or start a story one way and find out that it falls flat, if I see my mistake as a way of gathering intelligence about what I need to do to get back on track, then everything becomes clearer.
So fascinating to realize that success doesn’t teach us as much as failure, isn’t it? It seems like it should be the other way around. But most successful people will tell you, that it’s failure that’s taught them the most about pursuing their dreams.
So let’s make failure our friend and guide as we all write on!
*Check out Dr. Gilbert’s Success Hotline Podcast—highly motivating!
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