Learning To Fail With Style

Once upon a time, I started doing NaNoWriMo and realized I could write books. I’m skipping a lot of the middle bits, but that’s more or less how I became a writer. I published my first book in 2013. Like many first-time self-publishing authors, I produced a shiny pile of crap. Its primary redeeming quality was the story, at least. If you run down a list of How To Self-Publish a Book, I did everything imaginable wrong. In short, I failed hard.

From that failure, I learned so many things it’s mind-boggling to me how I could have failed that much. It reminds me of Starship Troopers:

Carl: “Statistically speaking, you should’ve accidentally guessed right by now.”

Yes, exactly that. The important thing, though, isn’t how awful I did at the beginning, it’s the part where I learned from my failures. A much younger me once failed at something important and then proceeded to balk at all future risky things. Older me has stopped giving a crap and now takes the risks and suffers the slings and arrows of failure. It’s a wild ride, with bigger ups to go with the bigger downs, and that’s the thing.

You can’t learn to fly if you’re not willing to take a leap.


Lee French has published several fantasy and science fiction novels, and is a member of the Edgewise Words Inn staff

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Author: Lee French

Lee French lives in Olympia, WA with two kids, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She is an avid gamer, casual bicyclist, and lackluster gardener. Most of her writing is done in a Beanbag of Comfort +4. Best known for her young adult urban fantasy series, SPIRIT KNIGHTS, Lee is an active member of SFWA, PNWA, and NIWA.

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