Tag: failure


Embracing failure

The other day I saw a wonderful clip of J.K. Rowling on Facebook. She was talking about how she struggled with failure for a long time, but in the end concluded that it stripped away the inessential and gave her the freedom to write Harry Potter. Something she said stuck with me: “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.” I suspect every writer in the world knows just what she’s talking about. Listening to her speak reminded me of my first novel, which was a fairly epic failure. I’m not referring here to The Fiction Class, which was published by Penguin in 2008. I like to think of that as a success. But I’m thinking of the first novel I wrote, titled PITCH. I started writing it in the mid-1990s, having spent many years writing and publishing short stories. I figured I knew what I was doing in that area, and so how difficult would it be to switch over. The novel is about a woman who trained to be a concert pianist, but suffered from stage-fright, and so was happy […]

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