I mentioned on my home blog today that I decided to stop working on my WIP. (Long story. You can read more here)
It was a hard decision to make and one I discussed in length with my critique partners. But I finally decided it was the best thing I could do for my writing, and I feel as if a weight has been lifted.
Nonetheless, it still makes me feel like I failed.
Have you ever felt like a failure?
If you have, you're definitely not alone.
I read in a devotion a few months ago about Abraham Lincoln and a little bit about what he went through in his lifetime. I decided to pull it out again and read it because I found it every encouraging. Maybe you will too!
According to Jim Burns, our 16th President had more failures than victories, yet many count him among the greatest presidents the United States has ever had. But I'm sure at one time Lincoln probably felt he was spinning his wheels too.
Take a look at his life:
up on an isolated farm with only one year of formal education. In his early
years he was exposed to barely half-a-dozen books.
In 1832 he
lost his job and was defeated in the race for the Illinois legislature.
In 1833 he failed in business.
In 1834 he
was elected to the state legislature, but in 1835 his sweetheart died, and in
1836 he had a nervous breakdown.
In 1838 he
was defeated for Speaker of the House, and in 1843 he was defeated for
nomination for Congress. In 1846 he was elected to Congress but in 1848 lost
- In 1849 he was rejected for a federal land officer appointment, and in 1854 he was defeated for the Senate. In 1856 he was defeated for the nomination of Vice President, and in 1858 was again defeated for the Senate."
Now, was Lincoln a failure? No. In fact, Stephen Spielberg, the director and producer of the movie, Lincoln, even said that Lincoln was, “arguably the greatest working president in American history doing some of the greatest work for the world.”
What does all this mean?
It means I want to see the movie Lincoln. LOL!
But also, Burns goes on to say all this means this: "There is one word that comes to mind when I think of failure: perseverance. To persevere means to hang on, to stick with it, to press forward! "
I really liked that. I think we can apply this lesson to writing as well.
Sometimes we'll be able to begin writing a story and finish it, sometimes we'll be able to sell that story, sometimes we'll get great reviews, sometimes the book will be a bestseller and sometimes...
none of that will happen.
But it's okay. The point is we press forward, we stick with it, and have perseverance.
I'm starting from scratch and trying out a new plot today. I'm pressing forward.
How about you?