Failure and Empty Spaces

It’s been a while. It wasn’t meant to be this way, but sometimes the words just fail to come, and you have to listen to your heart and leave the space empty. Give it time to heal and expand once more. 

I’m musing on this today after reading an article on the failures of writers, the most famous one perhaps being JK Rowling and her rejections before she secured a deal for Harry Potter. But there are many, many other writers that have failed time and time again, and they keep going. It’s part of the process, of the love and support you feel for your characters.  

And if you’ve never failed then this is how it feels to be rejected by a publisher or agent; 

It feels like the worst heartbreak. Worse perhaps, than that of the heart, as it feels as though your very soul has been ransacked and rejected for not being good enough. And when that happens you have to give yourself a few days to feel the pain of that rejection before picking up your pen, or laptop, or mobile, however you choose to write, and you start again. 

And that’s the only way to get over rejection, to get back up and get back to the work. 

There is a Jaime Escalante quote that I always return to; ‘it’s not about how many times you fall down. It’s about how many times you get back up.’ Every time I fail, I think about this quote and talk myself into getting back up and into the arena. As a writer it’s the only way forward. 

And as for writers who sit on their work for years and don’t try to publish for fear of failing, I don’t understand them at all. Surely it’s more painful to never let your characters breathe the air they deserve, than smother them for all eternity?  

We all have our own journeys to go on, and choosing to be a writer, means a life of rejection and opinion and I’m fine with that. This quote from Buechner, for me, sums it all up. 

‘Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.’ 

Frederick Buechner 

Don’t be afraid little ones. 

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