Failure is Part of the Journey

Many of you have already read the fabulous guest post by Sara Zarr in the What Inspires You series. It’s hosted on Nova Ren Suma’s blog, who is the author of Imaginary Girls.

I had the pleasure of being in one of Sara Zarr’s critique groups last December at the Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop so I already know first-hand how inspiring she can be.

So why would Sara be inspired by failure? If anything, failure is the major thing that keeps us as writers feeling like losers, alone in our mind with the images of what we *want* our writing to be and struggling to get it down on the page.

Most of the time, the images and the words never match. The words usually are a poor representation of the idea in our head. For me personally, this massive failure can be too much. It’s hard to keep pushing against a wall that seems never to budge.

But this is what I love about Sara Zarr’s post:

“Today, I’m looking at my draft and its large and small failures, and I know: if everyone I admire and respect, everyone whose work has endured for more than five minutes, everyone who has come out with something beautiful, has struggled in this same, frightening gap, I must be on the right track.”

It’s never easy to create in the midst of failure, but if we can remember that all art starts from this place — the gap between the idea and the finished work — we will realize that we’re not losers and it’s just a part of our journey.

We can forget that sometimes. So thanks Sara Zarr for reminding me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *