At the New York SCBWI conference, Kate Messner was supposed to give a talk about Failure--Ouch! Not a fun topic in anyone's book, but Kate turned failure into a reason to celebrate.
We don't learn if we don't fail. The old cliché, "Learn from your mistakes," is absolutely true. Kate said, "We keep raising the bar instead of allowing ourselves to enjoy our small successes along the way."
We one up ourselves without even meaning to. I entered my first short story into a contest. I made it through the first round. Did I celebrate? No, I smiled and wondered if I'd make it through the next round. I did. Did I celebrate? No. Then I made it into the Top 10, and of course, I was happy when I found out, but I wanted to win.
Then I heard Kate's talk and realized I always one up myself.
We need to celebrate our small successes, because they are AWESOME!
I am AWESOME because I made it to the Final Round of my first Short Story Contest!
You are AWESOME because you wrote 1,000 words. You wrote 100 words. You finished that Blog post. You woke up early to get some writing in. You got through that scene that drove you nuts. You finished a book. Your favorite Chocolate bar was on sale. Someone favorited your tweet. Someone followed you on Twitter. Someone liked your post on Facebook.
Thomas Edison said, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
If you're a writer or illustrator, FAILURE is part of your life.
You write a passage you think is brilliant, only to have your critique group tear it apart.
You send in a query to "The" agent, only to have her reject it.
Do you stop writing? Do you stop the query process? No WAY, because if you do, your dream will remain out of reach.
You need THICK SKIN.
You must be STUBBORN.
You must FIGHT to make your dreams come true.
And you must CELEBRATE the small successes along the way.
Make today The Best Day of Your Life! Press on me to Happy Dance!
Tell me about your success.
I'll Happy Dance with you!