Roses and Readers, please welcome Sharon Struth. Read on and be entered to win in her drawing.
The whistle-like shriek of my eight-year-old daughter’s recorder traveled throughout our house.
I stuck my head inside her bedroom, where she stood ready to blow out another note. “Will you be playing that for long?”
She nodded. “Mr. Arcano said to practice.”
“Oh. Okay.” Up until that afternoon, I’d never heard of a recorder. The woodwind instrument, popular during medieval times, is now used because it’s easy to teach.
Later that day, the so-called music suddenly stopped. My daughter walked into the kitchen where I fixed dinner, her sour expression a sure sign of a problem.
“What’s the matter?”
“This thing is hard.” She plunked the recorder on the table and wiped away a tear. “I don’t want to play it any more.”
“Honey.” I took her little hands in mine. “Learning how to do things well isn’t always easy. Do you think musicians just pick up an instrument and play perfectly? Or painters paint without trial and error? Of course not! Getting good takes hard work. Listening to feedback. Learning from our mistakes. And above all practice.”
So she did…
For several weeks, if she wasn’t eating, sleeping, or doing homework, that recorder was stuck between her lips. But then a funny thing happened….
She turned into a darn good recorder player!
It’s so easy to dispense advice to the little ones, isn’t it? But when it comes to us grownups, we usually want things fast and failure isn’t an option.
But an article I recently read showed proof that failure is part of learning, in fact better quality resulted when people were allowed to fail. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34775411
When I made a mid-life career change and pursued work as a writer, the words I once preached to my daughter returned. I wrote, wrote, and wrote. Then I’d submitted to anyone who’d have me. Guess what? I got many rejections from agents and editors. Contest critiques left me shattered.
Trust me, I wanted to go “wah-wah,” and even did at times But after a brief pout, I accepted my failure and listened to the advice. I kept at it.
I wanted a novel I was proud of, so I pushed aside my first book after more rejections by the pros and didn’t rush to self-publish. Instead, I started a second book, one that turned out even better and found a publishing home. I’m glad I left that first novel behind, because I realized later it really wasn’t good enough.
In other words, without failure, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.
How do you feel about failure? Does it inspire you to get back up and keep going?
Sharon Struth writes books about life, love & a little bit more. Her work can be found at www.sharonstruth.com
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