Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WHY FAILURE IS AN OPTION by Sharon Struth



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

COMMENT BELOW and be entered into a drawing for an e-copy of her latest release, Twelve Nights, A Blue Moon Lake Christmas Novella.










12 comments:

Leah St. James said...

Welcome, Sharon! Great post! Recorders were common when I was growing up, and even when my kids were. (Yeah...I'm that old.) :-) I think I still have mine somewhere and now have the urge to go digging through boxes to play a round of Mary Had a Little Lamb! :-) All kidding aside, the message that great lessons are learned from failure is so true. I remember doing science experiments in school where the whole purpose was to examine what was going on so we could form a hypothesis of what would come next...or something like that. :-) So the lesson was observation. That's what a "failure" amounts to, to me. Happy writing, and Happy Thanksgiving!

SharonStruth said...

Hi Roses and Readers! Thanks for hosting me today!

SharonStruth said...

Hi Leah!
Glad you liked the post. Honestly, failure is a tough pill to swallow. Observation is a good lesson for us all and I love the idea of that experiment.
You know, you could dig up that recorder for a little family entertainment on thanksgiving ;-)

Sharon

Margo Hoornstra said...

Welcome, Sharon, and thanks for the reminder about the necessity of failure. After all, without failure we might not recognize success. Love your try, try again graphic. Best of luck with your latest release.

SharonStruth said...

Thank you Margo! And a very valid point on how without failure, we really wouldn't appreciate success!
Happy thanksgiving!

Susan Coryell said...

Rejection for the writer is usually the beginning of the story! Thanks for sharing--we all need to remember to keep working...keep writing...keep submitting...

SharonStruth said...

Well said, Susan! thanks for stopping by!

Jannine Gallant said...

Failure is in the eye of the beholder. We can make what someone else considers a failure into a success if we take the initiative. All those rejections have to add up to something positive!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

We have to keep learning. If failure leads to that end, so be it. I've got a long way to go. Thanks for being our guest today. My daughter's first instrument was an alto sax. Her brothers still call her Moose. Ouch!!

SharonStruth said...

Haha, no kidding Jannine! They add up, but can be very painful in the process.

SharonStruth said...

Hi Vonnie. Glad to swing by the Roses of Prose. You've got a great team here!
Alto Sax. Bet you've got some fond memories of those days :-)

SharonStruth said...

As promised, I've select a winner of a free e-copy of Twelve Nights and it's Jannine Gallant!!
Congratulations, Jannine. I'll contact you regarding the win!
:-)
Sharon