As I begin the college application/essay season (my 13th as a college counselor/essay coach) and listen to countless stories of overcoming failure, I can't help but think of my own failures over the last five years (documented, here, on this blog).
Students who write about failure generally talk about what they learned or how a failure changed and affected them. They don't psychoanalyze themselves or their failures, and they don't try to figure out the why or even the how.
When I've written about failure over the last few years, I spent a lot of time on the why and how and not so much on the now what. When my students write about failure, they talk about the now what.
Finally, I am, too.
My failures in publishing have caused me a lot of emotional pain and suffering because I had the mistaken belief that because I was doing all the right things, failure was impossible...So, when failure happened, I blamed myself—when, in fact, failing in publishing is a lot like failing to win the lottery.
No one controls the lottery.
I cannot control agents or publishers. I can only control myself and what I write.
So, now I have a new goal.
That's it. Not how many books I've sold or how many comments I get or how much money I make (ha!). And, most importantly, not how many publishers I've submitted to (and been rejected by). My writing goals are to write what I want, make it the best I can, and then reach ONE reader who reads my work, whether it's a book or a blog post. From this post forward, I aim to reach one person with each piece I write, and I don't necessarily even need to know who that person is or even have evidence that they have read this, meaning comments or feedback through an email, etc.
I am going on faith. On hope.
So, dear reader, I believe that if you are reading this, you have been touched in some way, and I hope that you will come back for more (and maybe leave a comment ;)
I also hope that you are still reading this post because I would like for you to read my novel Till It Stops Beating on SwoonReads.com. Click here.
Thank you, Reader, whoever and wherever you are.