409 reasons to keep trying.

by Jennifer Dyer


Failure, you fiend!…maybe…

If there is anything a decade of writing has taught me, it’s how to live with failure. The writing life is full of rejection, revision, and reassessment. And I know I’m not alone. Writer or not, y’all have all experienced the pain of not reaching goals too. It’s part of being human.

So, is failure a bad thing?

Maybe not. No matter what we do, we all face failure at one point or another. Failure serves many purposes. It’s diagnostic, redirecting, and can even be motivating.

I know. That last part sounded a little wacky, even to me. But it’s true. Some people are most motivated by their failures. In his semi-biographical book On Writing, Stephen King mentioned putting a nail on his wall and adding each new rejection slip to it. It kept him going, spurred him toward refining his art. If only the rest of us could be so brave…

409 Reasons…

I think often about the story of how the popular cleaning product Formula 409 got its name. Two Detroit scientist worked through…yep, 409 trials to get the formula that cleans kitchens around the world today. Can you image what the world would have been like if they’d quit at 408 trials? Rioting in the streets, mass chaos, crying children…

Okay, my inner writing muse is hijacking this blog with ridiculous assumptions, but my point is that failure sometimes merely highlights the ways in which we should change. Failure is growth and maturation. It’s the pain that comes before the end result. Sometimes, in fact, to truly appreciate success, we must first experience failure.

So, the next time you fail a test, forget something important, don’t reach a goal, get rejected, anything–use it. Use that moment to learn, to reevaluate, to inspire you to move on and get stronger. Don’t let failure defeat you. Instead, use your failure to become someone better.

  7 comments for “409 reasons to keep trying.

  1. Roberta Day
    October 13, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Way to go girl. We all have lots of disappointments. I am finally learning about compromise instead of always getting what I really want. Of course as far as being published there is no compromise. It is either yes or no.

    We have also had to delay some plans instead of following a planned schedule.

    Keep trying!

    • Jennifer Dyer
      October 13, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement, Roberta!

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