Allow Yourself to Fail

The first of Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling is this: Audiences admire a character more for trying than for succeeding.

Stop for a moment to consider that. Do they equate “trying” with “failing?” Not really.

Good news: Failure is not the opposite of success. It’s a stepping stone to success. There’s only one way to avoid failure: live so cautiously it’s not worth living at all. Do the opposite! Fail so often you have the best time of anyone you know!

We know this—the person who fails is much braver than the person who sits on the sidelines.

failureWriting teaches us the same thing. Put yourself out there. Allow yourself to fail. Because it’s the only way you’re going to learn and grow and succeed. Write the story. Query the manuscript. Post some flash fiction on your blog!

Don’t get me wrong, failure isn’t easy. It’s tough putting yourself out there. You could be wrong. You could get laughed at. You could flop.

But one day … you will soar. And it will all have been worth it.

Go out and fail today. And when you do, smile at how much further along you are than the person who sat safely on the sidelines. And be like Pixar—admire yourself for trying.

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Starting next week, come back and enjoy some Halloween flash fiction. (Why do I set myself up for … oh, never mind.)

8 thoughts on “Allow Yourself to Fail

  1. Reblogged this on Sharon E. Cathcart and commented:
    Within the past year, I revised my previous opinion on participation trophies. I had the realization that it is more important that one do the thing than that one win at the thing … because so few people bother to do the thing at all. I wholeheartedly concur with the advice here.


  2. I also like the saying, “you never know unless you try.”

    Sometimes putting oneself out there is like purposefully running straight into a briar patch. You feel a little bloody and torn trying to extricate yourself from it. Once you get over that, you do it again. And again. Until…


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