Failure is not an option unless you allow yourself to do so

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Chris Bradford

Writing this blog is not the only writing I do during any given week.

For many years, I’ve been determined to write a novel or screenplay.

As anyone who’s tried to create either will tell you, even highly prolific writers, it’s no easy task.

For starters, with a full-time job and a long commute, the last thing I want to do after a long day is focus on the creative writing process.

But what I find most difficult is solidifying a compelling storyline and not losing interest along the way.

I’m not at a loss for ideas, believe me, just look at the stack of notebooks in my desk drawer. But after numerous attempts and failures, I found myself trying to be as optimistic as Thomas Edison when he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The journey begins

In the summer of 2016, I came up with an idea for a fairly decent story. At the suggestion of my wife I began writing it as a novel, but soon realized it was better as a screenplay. And so, I got to work.

I wrote and wrote much of that summer and into the fall, until one day in early November. About a third of the way through the story, I encountered one road block after another. All the pre-planning I had done beforehand seemed in vain, and suddenly I found myself unable to continue with my writing.

In my typical fashion, I started questioning my abilities – once even proclaiming that perhaps I’m just not meant to write a novel or a screenplay in my lifetime.

I continued writing my blogs, tried out a few short stories and before long realized I missed my beloved characters. I felt as though I had abandoned them. I’d been so quick to yell “failure” and leave this writing incomplete.

But I needed to finish this project, not for any fame or fortunate, but as a personal fulfillment to myself.

Failure is not an option

I remember Narihira, a Japanese poet, once said, “I have always known that at last I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.”

About a week ago, the road came sooner than I thought – I finished my screenplay. I’m in the process of revisions now and it’s a truly rewarding and enjoyable process.

My fear of failure almost lead to my defeat. I learned along the way that the greatest roadblock I encountered time and time again was myself.

Denis Waitley writes, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.”

Chase your dreams and push beyond the limitations we impose upon ourselves. You might just be surprised what you can accomplish if you force yourself to keep going.

“Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley