Going from Failure to Failure Without Losing your Enthusiasm

Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives the &qu...
Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives the “Victory” sign to crowds in London on Victory in Europe Day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many writers, including myself, have our ups and downs in terms of our livelihood and craft.  I’ve found that often our greatest growth happens during times when our efforts may appear to be faltering to everyone including ourselves.

Earlier this year, on the occasion of my birthday, my brother sent a lovely letter to support my path as a writer.

It occurred to me that some of what he wrote to me might apply to many of you as well, so here is an excerpt of a pep talk from my younger brother to me, reframed for you my fellow writers.

Dear fellow writer:

You are capable of great things and I wish you all the success in your endeavors, even if I don’t entirely understand them. 

I have been reading a book entitled “First Thing Every Morning, Turn Your Life Around One Day at a Time” to give me ideas and inspiration.  One quote I read reminded me of you and your present work:

“As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow.  We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom.  It happens in its own time.”

– Denis Waitley

Winston Churchill said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”.  Ben Franklin said, “If you want to be remembered when you’re dead, write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.”

Writing has always been your greatest gift so use it well.  I know you can write great things and, regardless of the compensation, be entirely fulfilled.  I wish you great fulfillment, great friends, a loving spirit and God’s peaceful assurance that you are on the right path.  Forget much, treasure the moment and forgive freely, not so much for others as for yourself.

We all need someone who supports us when times are challenging, and I appreciate these words of encouragement from my brother.

May you find deep support for your writing and great fulfillment in all your work!

Daily Contemplation:

Do you have anyone in your life who supports your writing? If so, what might they tell you now to keep you encouraged?

Have you ever had to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm?

How do you stay on the “right” path with your writing?

Related articles

Asking for Help and Ray Bradbury

Photo of Ray Bradbury.
Photo of Ray Bradbury. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the second post in a series on creating quantum leaps.  I can’t help combining worldly news with these posts.   Sadly, today, we heard of Ray Bradbury’s passing.

My original goal for today’s post was to write about how important it is to pray and ask for help.

With Ray Bradbury’s death, may he rest in peace, I decided to get some help today myself and flipped open to one of my favorite books on writing: Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.

With what I believe was divine guidance, this is what I opened to:

So again, the three signs.  Put them together any way you wish.  WORK RELAXATION DON’T THINK Once separated out.  Now, all three together in a process.  For if one works, one finally relaxes and stops thinking.  True creation occurs then and only then.

But work, without right thinking, is almost useless.  I repeat myself, but, the writer who wants to tap the larger truth in himself must reject the temptations of Joyce or Camus or Tennessee Williams, as exhibited in literary reviews.  He must forget the money waiting for him in mass circulation.  He must ask himself, “What do I really think of this world, what do I love, fear, hate?” and begin to pour this on paper.

Then, through the emotions, working steadily, over a long period of time, his writing will clarify; he will relax because he thinks right and he will think even righter because he relaxes.  The two will become interchangeable. At last he will begin to see himself.  At night, the very phosphorescence of his insides will throw shadows on the wall.  At last the surge, the agreeable blending of work, not thinking and relaxation will be like the blood in one’s body, flowing, because it has to flow, moving because it has to move.

What are we trying to uncover in this flow? The one person irreplaceable to the world, of which there is no duplicate. You. As there was only one Shakespeare, Moliere, Dr. Johnson, so you are that precious commodity, the individual man, the man we all democratically proclaim, but who, so often, gets lost, or loses himself in the shuffle.

How does one get lost?

Through incorrect aims, as I have said.  Through wanting literary fame too quickly.  From wanting money too quickly.  If only we would remember,  fame and money are gifts given only after we have gifted the world with our best, our lonely, our individual truths.  Now we must build a better mousetrap, heedless if a path is beaten to our door.

This may seem like the wrong kind of advice for producing quantum leaps in writing.  In our society, we generally equate quantum leaps with fame and money. If you’re deeply honest are any of your truest dreams about money and fame? Don’t they usually involve living and expressing your personal truth?

Perhaps, this is the perfect summer to take Ray’s advice for following any of your truest dreams:

  • WORK
  • RELAX
  • DON’T THINK

Might you produce a quantum leap in your life if you applied this approach in your life?

Thanks Ray for your help today!

Energy Booster for Writers

writing
writing (Photo credit: found_drama)

This is the final post in my current series of blogs about taking the brakes off of your personal energy and innate goodness.

Today, I am sharing ideas about why it matters for writers to understand our personal energy, and to be aware of the type of energy that we’re putting into our writing.

Nowadays, most of us are bombarded with information and writing that is packed with different kinds of energy.

Some communications are uplifting, funny and inspiring.  Others are angry, demeaning, fearful.  Of course, many pieces of writing are boring because the energy of emotion is not present in them at all!

Your writing has an energy to it that often reflects the kind of day that you’re having.  This doesn’t mean you should only write when your energy is “good”. Sometimes, the “negative” energy is just what a story needs to create drama and interest.  So, it’s not necessary that your energy becomes all sunshine and roses.  However, it’s helpful to track your energy over the course of time to notice how the type of energy you are experiencing and creating affects your writing.

south to north view of chicagoland area
south to north view of chicagoland area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Energy Boosters for Writers worksheet is something I’m putting together for my 7 Elixirs class for Writers that I’ll going to be offering this fall in the Chicago area.  It’s based on the writing coaching work that I’ve done in the last few years.

I’ve noticed that finishing projects often requires that we manage our energy for the toughest part of writing which is when we are refining our work.  This is the time when we throw out good and sometimes great ideas for the sake of a story or grant application or marketing brochure or memoir.

This worksheet may not make complete sense, because it’s out of context to the rest of the course that I’ll be giving.  Yet, I’m sharing it anyway because it’s rather self-explanatory, and shows you a different way of managing your time and energy in conjunction with your writing.

Energy Booster for Writers Worksheet

Hope you’ve enjoyed this series of blogs!  Tomorrow, we’ll be back to some literary musings.

Related articles