I do not believe in Failure

I do not believe in failure. I believe in learning.

I listened to an agent over the weekend saying that we have to get used to failure. That it follows us and that we fail in everything from simple tasks like yielding to a car, or big tasks like selling a book.

And while I loved SO much of what she said, I didn’t agree with this part at all.

We didn’t FAIL if we didn’t yield. We were distracted, we forgot, or we’re an asshole on the road. I don’t really see that as a fail. If we were distracted, chances are we’ll be less distracted after nearly causing an accident. If we forgot, hopefully the same will be the case. If we’re an asshole, well… We can keep being an asshole, and we’ll be winning at that. If we end up causing an accident, that’s what we call consequences of being an asshole. Not a failure.

Maybe I just don’t like the word “failure” or maybe it’s my never-ending optimism that makes me not believe in failure. I said in the class I taught over the weekend that I’m not just an optimist, I look at that half full glass and think about how happy that liquid will be when we fill that glass up the rest of the way!

I’ve learned that my first drafts have no depth. Is that a fail?



It’s allowed to be terrible at first. THAT’S OKAY!

I now have a much higher starting point to get to a finished product. GO ME!

If that book doesn’t sell, is that a fail?

No. That’s a learning process. Was it the writing? The timing? The wrong people with the wrong book? What did I learn from the process that I can use in the next book? How will my attitude change?

And despite my realistic attitude toward publishing:

1. authors are professoinal waiters

2. publishing takes forever

3. crappy books hit bestseller lists

4. beauticul books sometimes never get the credit they deserve

I’m still so optimistic about the process. I’ve had books go out and not sell. I’ve had books sell in two weeks. I learned something from both.

So. As you look at where you are now, look at HOW MUCH YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED! Even if you’re online enough to know other writers and end up on this blog, you’re moving forward. You’re doing something to further your career. (not by being on my little blog, but by being around other writers)

And THAT is something to celebrate with a very full glass 😉

Today I’m taking a day to just enjoy how far I’ve come since I first started writing, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to kickstart me into the next project.

(I’m also SO very curious to see if anyone picked up on the very odd title typo)

~ Jolene

Published by Jolene Perry

Hiker. Occasional Yogi. Equestrian. Couch potato. Music lover. Mediocre guitar player. Sailor. Tailor. Home body. Traveler. Enjoys suffering from being interested in everything. Co-founder and instructor at Waypoint Author Academy. Rep'd by Amy Bishop of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

10 thoughts on “I do not believe in Failure

  1. I loved this, too. I hate the word “failure.” Failure is an end thing. It is where things/dreams/hopes/ effort dies. If you keep going, it is not failure. It is a step in the process.
    And crappy or not, if you wrote a book, you freakin’ wrote a book. That is HUGE. Most people will never do that. Many people will try. But only a few (although, in our circles, it seems like a lot) actually do it. And that should be celebrated.

    1. YES HEIDI!!

      I remember when I was in undergrad, I was like – I have to go to grad school. EVERYONE has a degree!! And that’s just really not true. We’re around people who are into the same things, so of COURSE we’re going to feel like everyone in the world is writing books, lol

      On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 12:07 PM, author Jolene Perry wrote:


  2. I don’t think of failures or mistakes, I think of things not going the we’d hoped or planned, and other things happening that need to happen in order to teach us the lessons we need to learn. “Things” that keep happening are lessons that we need to work on. I wrote a piece, not a book, more like a short story or novella. It took me a few years because the story needed time to tell itself in my mind and heart. But I did it, made it into a serial on my WP blog. Just having written it, a gotten it to a point where I could say, “yeah, done,” felt … well, like giving birth. I felt exhausted, ecstatic, even a wee bit traumatized.

    Anyway, love this.

    1. And you’re so funny. i’m like OBSESSED WITH YOU 😉 ROFL. I read your posts and I’m like – I WANT CASSIE TO WRITE MINE!! but I think that about Steph’s and Allie’s too, so yanno…

      On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM, author Jolene Perry wrote:


Hey there!! *waves* Thanks for chatting!

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