Friday, 21 September 2012

To Give Up or not to Give Up

“Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.”—Anonymous
“We climb to heaven most often on the ruins of our cherished plans, finding our failures were successes.”—Amos Bronson Alcott

Over the past few years, I’ve realised that failure and success are intertwined. There were many mistakes I made which evidently turned into opportunities for further growth as a person as well as a writer (I’m not saying writers aren’t people, so calm yourself!). I wonder if I would be where I am today had I not paid attention to my failures (and there were many) and used them as ways to come out on top. Every day, I see people who have accepted defeat and moved on to some other project without even trying that one last time which could have made all the difference in the world. However, just because I have never taken No for an answer, does this mean that it’s right? Could I have avoided a whole lot of disappointment and pain had I just tucked my tail between my legs and scurried off to some other adventure?

Sometimes I wish that a little book had accompanied me on my way to this world which tells me everything I need to know about what’s going to work for me and not. (Some of you may say, “Yeah, it’s called the BIBLE or *please feel free to insert any other relevant religious, motivational or otherwise plain telling-people-how-to-live-their-lives publication here*!”, but you know what I mean.) So, my question is basically, when do we know when to stop fighting and just except our lot in life?

“Despair is not the enemy of hope. Frustration and anxiety may not be your friends, but they are repeatedly wrestled on your way to hope.”—Adam McLane (

Failure can occur anywhere, be it in our love lives, carrier, at school or anywhere else where a bunch of people have the chance at frowning upon us. If we could just live on our own and forget about the other tsk-ing human beings around us, I don’t think there’d be much point to failure and success. (If there’s no one around to applaud that perfect piano recital, is it considered a success?) However, we’re stuck with our kind and have to make the best of it so learning to deal with failure sort of comes with the territory (but the look on your parents’ faces when you bring home that trophy will always overshadow the bad times…believe you me.)

“New research from the University of Kent has revealed that positive reframing, acceptance and humor are the most effective coping strategies for people dealing with failures. In a paper published by the international journal Anxiety, Stress & Coping, Dr. Joachim Stoeber and Dr. Dirk Janssen from the University's School of Psychology describe a diary study that found these three strategies to be most effective in dealing with small failures and setbacks, and helping people to keep up their spirits and feel satisfied at the end of the day.”—Ray B. Williams (

As I am an extremely optimistic person (sometimes bordering on simply-dreaming-fool), I tend to believe that if you love something enough, there will never be a time to give up on it. EVER. I would rather fight with my man till my dentures fall out, submit that hundred year old manuscript to robot publishers and learn to ride that dang motorbike to my grave than giving up and wondering after I’m gone, “What if…”.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”—Harriet Beecher Stowe


  1. We _accept_ our lot in life, with dignity and grace, knowing that, with time and effort, we will get to our destination, maybe indirectly, but always eventually.

    There is no magic wand to make it happen except our own brain power. Nothing else.

    Once you have been up and down a few times, you will begin to understand that you have some choices and to make them wisely.

    You can try to make it as a writer in the mass marketplace, on amazon or through a vanity publisher, or, as I did, you can allocate your career to big business that can afford your true value, until you can transition your success to the mass marketplace.

    I am a contract writer for a Fortune 50 company making way over 100k per year with a few months off and have done so for several years. Improbably, I have been up, I have been down, and then I arose from the ashes to an even higher place. Taking great risks but never failing. I took some risks and swallowed some misgivings but stand ready to achieve my goals eventually after many years of disappointment. So I advise you never to give up on being a great writer, anywhere.

    My experience may not be yours, but I suggest you consider being a "stable" prostitute before striking out as an "independent". I am approaching the conventional retirement age and am now perfectly primed to transition my business writing skills and discipline to a greater good.

    If you have a goal, and a vision, you will have an unlimited success path. Good writers are needed everywhere, and they are paid in the top 5%. Don't lose your focus. Stay the course and it will manifest.

    I believe that many can do as I have done, simply by writing and not giving up.

    1. Wow! Thanks...this is extremely motivating!