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Failures.

I'm slowly coming to realize that sometimes, failure is not only an option, but a likelihood. I'm also coming to terms with the fact that I am a screwup. Everything I've done this year has ended up going bad, making this a year of failures. Right now, I'm working on a new project. It's going to fail. (I caution, I'm very leery to mention it by name. I'm downtrodden but not totally defeated. Yet.) I know it's going to fail because I can see the writing on the wall: I'm simply not good enough at what I know how to do to compete with everybody else who knows how to do what I know how to do. It's not exactly a competition, but it is a competition, but it's not. One of those deals. My job is simple: be better at it than everybody else so that a prospective customer chooses me over someone else. To outshine them, to make people make a knee-jerk decision to pick my stuff over the stuff of others. The problem?

I suck at it. Really, I do. What I can do, what I'm capable of, seems a million light years behind those of my soon-to-be competitors. A billion, actually. It's drawing/painting, and they look like they've been doing it since Loenardo da Vinci gave 'em their first lesson in it in 1501. I look like I fell off the turnip truck yesterday afternoon, was knocked unconscious, and started screwing around with it while in a "slowly coming around" phase from which I have yet to recover.

I can get around my glaring lack of skill by using my creativity! The problem? Nobody in their right mind will pick a witty and pay for it when they could pick someone else's artwork. I'm not being glum, I'm being realistic. If given the choice for something witty or something beautiful, I'm thinking beauty. I'd just remember the witty phrase and use it myself later, likely claiming it as my own.

Do not think that this failure-in-progress is my only screwup this year. I said that this is the year of failures, not the week. Another grand failure was in a relationship. I got in, I did okay, it got tough, I bailed. She thinks I'm a colossal hole... I think her perception is dead on.

I've gotten and lost/quit more jobs this year than I ever have in my LIFE. I started working at age 13 part-timing for a auto body shop. In 16 years of working, I'd never been fired... until this year. I'd never started a job and quit it for less than severe reasons... until this year. I'd never jumped ship from one job to a competing company... until this year.

Physically, I'm falling apart and old problems are slowly snowballing in on me. Mentally, I'm exhausted and that exhaustion is fueled by the tremendous pressure I feel closing in. Can't sleep, don't want to eat, not always making sense, probably not making any now, and I am tired. Not "ooh, I'm tired after walking from my chair to the fridge and back to my chair" but "I am tired after walking from Popocatepetl to Fairbanks, realizing I'd lost my keys, and retracing my steps back to Popocatepetl only to discover that I didn't have my keys at all, but had left them at home to begin with." Mentally tired, physically tired, emotionally tired.

It makes a person wish that life was like a video game. Right about now, I'd push reset on Level 2015 and try to play it again, better, stronger, and without all the colossal errors I've made this go 'round.

Comments

TJ,

Drawing only on my own experience, I can only say that my worst year ever, 1989 to be exact, was a turning point, and has only go e up from there. Never give up!
 
Much better things are coming your way, TJ. All of this is just preparing you for that. Don't give up, buddy.
 
I have fucked up plenty of times TJ, more than I can count. Thing is, in 20 years I'll probably forget about most of those and have some new messes to clean up. It's all about perspective.

The important thing is to always remember to learn something from it. That way when another opportunity presents itself, you WILL be better, stronger, ready to play again.

I don't know what kind of work you do. Wish I could help. My only suggestion - and a vague one at that - would be to just keep doing what you're doing. Put your nose to the grindstone and maybe try to somehow incorporate your writing or any kind of creativity into it. After all, the witty can often be beautiful.
 
Ams, thanks. :)

Smith, the more I think about it and worry over it, the more tempted I become to do something rash. I'm free to do something like a "launch" for the project, that is to put it out publicly for others to see, at any time. No pressures, no deadlines, I can take as long as I want, or pull the trigger any time I want to. I know of a few couples in a similar situation, having the freedom to take their time to set a "date". One of those couples, they've been getting asked when the big day is for... going on nine years. I admire them for standing strong and waiting to do it right. On the other side, with this I'm a bit worried that if I allow myself to hold off and make everything just so, that'll become my excuse to never pull the trigger. I'd rather not have this become stalled halfway between "thinking about it" and "doing it".

Pressure, I can handle. Being nervous?... I can't even type the sound that makes me want to make. It's kind of a cross between a groan, and Uggggggh, but slightly higher in pitch, lol.
 
Haha, I have problems with anxiety as well. I didn't actually come to the realization until very recently though. Just knowing what the problem is, the how and the why, goes a long way. Sort of like the "know your enemy" saying. Now when I get nervous I can identify that, stop it, take a breath, and think.

I do not mean to make you worry about it, but I'd just say "screw it" and just go for it man. What's worse: never finishing and never knowing, or at least trying? Definitely the former. Basically, you have nothing to lose. I'm a firm believer in artistic integrity myself. Take as long as you need, and do whatever you want. But as you said yourself, don't allow procrastination to be the motive.

Right now I'm in the process of trying to write a novel, and I think I'm in a similar boat. Except of course that you're talking about your job. So really I should have less pressure, right? I should just be able to churn out pages and pages of great work. That isn't the case though because I'm my own worst enemy. A perfectionist. Not to mention between school, soccer, life... not a whole lot of time.

Anyway, sorry for that tangent. I believe in you man! You're a great guy with a sharp mind and writing skills to be jealous of! You got this, I know you do.
 
You're trying, and sometimes that simple fact matters more than everything else put together. There will be tries that hurt more than others. (I found that one out the hard way, landing in a headlong heap. Actually considered completely wiping my computer and backup storage, everything I had ever written. And I came pretty darn close to doing it.)

But the fact remains, you're trying, actually up and involved. Crossroads take us through some dank places, but if it is the only place where your path meets the right road, all you can do is keep going. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, 'If you are going through hell, keep on going...'

It is life's trials and circumstances that shape us, sometimes the grinding edge feels like it is going to reduce one to dust, but more often than not, when it pulls back, a honed edge is revealed. And as with the edges of a prism, one doesn't know what they do until the light hits it just right.

There are just barely four months left in this year, would you reset if you could? You have some honest and excellent insight and observations in the piece above. Way more than most people have...Keep a weathered eye on the horizon with that insight and continue to try.

- D. the T.
 
I can't say I wouldn't push reset if it were possible. It's been a rough year all around. :( I made several mistakes that, given a choice, I'd totally do differently if I could.

With the project... This is tough, but I can't let pressure defeat me. October 1, I'm going to launch. It's a lot like rebuilding an engine that's valuable: if you do a test drive at full throttle too early, you might scatter it into a bazillion pieces and lose the engine and its value. However, you can wear out the set screws in the carburetor if you sit there and endlessly tweak it. Sometimes the best option is to trust what you've done and mash the gas. October 1, I'm going for it, lol.

I hope. You guys have been so helpful. I still have a lot of stuff to do, but that's part of life. If this was easy, everybody would do it. :)
 
better to fail than never try..i could rattle of loads of these sayings but the point I would like to make is you can't alter the past,you can let it shape your future..good or bad...keep going man
 

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