On Failure and Optimism

I don’t know about you, but I generally do pretty okay at life. I got straight As (usually) throughout school, I worked and never had a boss complain about my work ethic or my work (not to say I wasn’t gently corrected from time to time).

So it’s a little strange to not do something well. If it was Calculus, that’d be one thing. But this is different. This is something I’m supposed to be good at.

You’re probably sitting there like, jeez, this girl has never failed at anything in her life.

FALSE. I have failed at many things. But I overcame them. Risen above, keep a positive attitude and faith in myself, and eventually understood or gotten better. I have also never failed at something that I have always prided myself on being good at—writing.

Writing is the one thing I have always been good at. And now, it seems, we are at a standstill.

Let’s be clear—I was given a project at work. It involves writing. And it is one of the most difficult and frustrating and disheartening things I’ve taken on in a while. Reflecting on it, I think lack of experience and not understanding the subject well enough are two of the many problems I have. But the problems are my own.

And it sucks to be bad at something. But I think what’s worse than being bad at something is trying your damnedest to do better and work harder and do a good job and failing. The ultimate “I have done everything I feel I should have done and I fail again and again.”

optimismThere is no doubt that this is a learning experience for me, both personally and professionally (I think my writing on the project is getting better? I think? I’ve certainly tried hard enough and stressed enough).

Moral of the story: it’s easy to get complacent. It’s easy for me to say that I am a good writer and that maybe someday I will be a great writer. It’s also easy to sit back and stop reading about writing and stop practicing and start watching a little too much TV. It’s easy to give up. But life is not about taking the easy way out—it’s about persevering through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the incredibly sucky.

Stay on top of your craft. Setbacks are okay. They’re just little reminders to stay humble.

And optimistic. Stay that way, too.

Vanessa is a digital media coordinator by day and a writer, novelist, and badass cook by night. She loves used bookstores, is way too serious about tea, and doesn’t give a damn if she wears the same outfit 2 days in a row. She totally wants to be your friend, so you should follow her on twitter & maybe check out her writing blog.

4 thoughts on “On Failure and Optimism

  1. “For us there is only the trying. The rest is not our buisness.” TS Eliot – East Coker – Four Quartetes.

    Feeling like crap about writing is, like, the expected result from writing. lol. You are great. Go team.

  2. Pingback: Happy (Almost) 1 Year Anniversary, GSL! | Grammar. Style. Life.

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