Happy New Year to you. I couldn’t give up on the chance to write a post on the very first day of 2018, could I? So here I am with a #MondayMusings post, late but still on Monday. Today I’ve been musing on whether taking a risk to do something and fail at it is worth anything? Do we always have to succeed? What is success. Success or risk which matters more?
Success Or Risk Which Matters More
Reading the New York Times today, I read Roxanne Gay’s writing in her column ‘Ask Roxanne’. To questions about whether it was too late for writers to follow in their 50-60s to follow their dreams, she responded:
The older we get, the more culturally invisible we become, as writers, as people. But you have your words. Writing and publishing are two very different things. Other writers are not your measure. Try not to worry about what other people your age or younger have already accomplished because it will only make you sick with envy or grief. The only thing you can control is how you write and how hard you work. The literary flavor of the week did not get your book deal. All the other writers in the world are not having more fun than you, no matter what it might seem like on social media, where everyone is showing you only what they want you to see.
Write as well as you can, with as much heart as you can, whenever you can. Make sure there are people in your life who will have faith in your promise when you can’t. Get your writing in the world, ideally for the money you deserve because writing is work that deserves compensation. But do not worry about being closer to 50 or 65 or 83. Artistic success, in all its forms, is not merely the purview of the young. You are not a late bloomer. You are already blooming.
Ah! Just the kind of advice I needed to hear today. What this says to me is that it’s better to start late, to take a risk, to go out on a limb than to never start for fear of failure. I can’t tell you how many notebooks I’ve started and left off with my Morning Pages, but it never stops me from starting again. This year, I’m trying out a bullet journal, despite failing at it badly last year. But having failed, I’ve realized what I want my bullet journal to be.
Sometimes I’m embarrassed to share how badly I’ve failed in the goals I’ve set for myself. But what would my life be if I gave up simply because I’ve failed?
How can we succeed if we don’t risk? How can we learn if we never make mistakes? How will we grow if we never try?
I leave you with Neil Gaiman’s powerful words, as I remind myself about them too:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
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Yes mistakes are important .That means we tried.Life afterall is a tapestry of experiences.
Yes, taking risk is definitely the way to go. When we do not take risk, we fail even before trying. Those Neil Gaiman words are my favourite. They have been inspiring me to do something out of my comfort zone and I am doing it – I am sure in 2018 I will be making mistakes – and I will be learning from them too.
Happy New Year
I think this is true of anything, whether it’s writing or parenting or spiritual disciplines. We show up. We offer ourselves to the work at hand.
Thank you for persevering here, and blessings to you as you continue into a brand new year.
Great post . I was like that before..Restless impatient when my particular post didn’t got the kind of attention, I often use to compare but gradually I have realized, Apples can’t be compared to oranges.
Looking forward to make more mistakes..
This is so encouraging to me as a writer and as an older person. Thank you for this. I will write my novel this year. It is never too late.
Thank you for sharing this, Corinne. I needed to read this today. What matters is that we tried and yes, we should not compare with what others must have achieved. All that matters is that we dared to try at any stage of our life.
Agree, we should not fear mistakes. But that’s such a hard step to take. I hope this year we will all be a little less fearful and take some more risks. Nice post.
Once again your writing brings fresh hope . I wanted to be a late bloomer- taking on a serious career after dealing with babies and children during the time others worked . Unfortunately I am finding it hard being a grandma
That’s just what I used to fear all these days, you know? That I am growing older by the day and have yet not accomplished anything in life. Okay, so what if i am a blogger/writer, what am I earning from it? But, these lines here, by Roxanne, give me solace, Corinne. I just want to keep working hard and not look at what others are doing/accomplishing/earning..I want to make my own mistakes and learn from them, work hard and enjoy the process. 🙂
Thank you for sharing these lines, Corinne!
I loved childhood as no mistake was ever too big and nothing was impossible to achieve! My grandpa, always told me to keep that child alive in me and only now do I understand his true meaning.
Mahati ramya adivishnu
Neil’s quotes are inspiring. Happy New year Corinne.
What a thoughful post Corinne. I have realised that my 40s have been the bliss I was waiting for as this is when I am doing things that I always thought I would do when I have time…. Mistakes are to be made if we wanna live and live a fruitful life! Raising a toast to the writer in you who is always writing inspiring stuff that makes a lot of sense to me! Cheers
superb write up and I enjoyed every bit of it. yes! I do believe taking risk is an integral part of becoming successful and making mistakes is an essential part of learning. love your message in the beginning of the new year. and I am ready to make many mistakes with you, to gain something and to learn something new every day.