Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fail Better

Writers always need reminders and encouragement to keep going through the challenges, vagaries, and doubt that is an inevitable part of creating and also of sharing one's work. This is why so many of us have encouraging quotes taped to the walls near our desks or bed or mirrors or anywhere else we frequent while lost in thought, why so many of us benefit from supportive peer groups.

In this essay, author Rebecca Brown makes another thoughtful contribution to the body of literature addressing the need to keep going despite difficulties.

Brown begins: "I often need to remind myself that I need to hear failure out, because by failing at doing an easy thing, a groupthink thing, a thing one has been taught to do for one's career, one might be encouraged to make or do or be something more original and true. Because failing as an artist is a necessary thing, a thing I wish I could more easily accept."

Brown is a scholar well attuned to the world, and in this essay she doesn't stop with encouraging individual artists & writers to follow our dreams but also reminds us that the point of creating something beautiful or useful is to "give it away" to our community. This service aspect of art can widen our view of the context of our work, and provide deeper motivation for us to work through our own fears, insecurities, and failures.

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