What To Do When You Feel Like A Big Fat Failure in Writing…and Life…

  1. You are singing my song! I’m not a Virgo, but a sensitive Cancer. I have the same overwhelming fear sometimes–of not ever “making it”, of making it, then not making it again. Humans are silly. 😉

    I also do yoga and meditation–I think us writers live in our minds so much that it’s easy to forget there is a body and a moment that is here in the now and not on the page where that cursor is pounding down the time like a stopwatch.

    I’ve recently done a 21-day wellness program. I’m only eating fruits, veg, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds and nut butters. I soon learned my coping mechanism for failure or fear of not being enough was a glass of wine (replaced with Kombucha–delicious and it does the trick in a wine glass), and lots of salty chips. (Trail mix made with raw brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, and goji berries replaced those.) I can’t say I won’t go back to those vices, but having a healthy perspective of WHY I need them has been really eye-opening.

    I’m definitely watching and listening, learning and trying to do better in this, my 4th decade on this planet. I’m so blessed to have you and other fellow authors alongside me who are going through the same things and are willing to talk about it. Beautiful post, Jennifer!

    xo! J. 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      I feel the same way Jessica – knowing other writers like you are treading the same path beside me takes away a lot of my failure fear! Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing.

  2. theresa says:

    I am going to be the total opposite here I am an Aquarius but I fear failure in some ways sometimes it stops me from trying anything. When I was let go from my job do to cuts and couldn’t get another job after interview after interview it made me feel like a failure because here I am out of work for 3 years and no job uggh. What help? Well believe it or not I know its going to sound strange but I found a band that I liked started going to there shows met friends through the band and we are still friends now, it helped me not sit at home each day and worry how I didn’t have a job how was I going to pay my bills. Also a very good friend made a special time once a week from my old job to have lunch with me and cheer me up you might know her lol!! If it wasn’t for those special times I don’t think I would have been so calm. It took me 3 years to find the job I have now its only part time but I have to say my fear of interviewing and being rejected are still here. But I know failure is a part of life and it is a part of fear to! Just so you know to me you are never a failure, I look up to you and doing what you love best its ruff out there I know (even though I am not a writer) you got this girl I know it!!!

  3. Lisa Kessler says:

    What a great post! *HUGS*

    And your thought about the difference between being brave and being fearless is HUGE! I am the biggest chicken, but I try to consciously push myself to stretch my boundaries. If you never push, then you can never grow, right? Without risk, there’s no reward…

    But failing sucks. Big time. 😛

    My daughter has been a figure skater since she was 4 years old and I’ve watched her fall literally thousands of times. Some days her butt was wet and other days she didn’t fall once, and we learned something…. Some days you have to fall so that you can appreciate the days when you don’t. If she never fell, she’d have no idea how awesome she was when stayed up…

    So I try really hard when things are sucking to remember that without this struggle, I’ll never be able to appreciate the success or understand the awesomeness of it all…

    And in tough times, that hope that it’s going to get better, reminds me that failure isn’t permanent, it’s a stepping stone to greatness….

    I hope! LOL

    Lisa 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      Lisa, your daughter is just as amazing as your son! It’s a great lesson we are constantly learning and I agree – a stepping stone to greatness! Adore you!

  4. This is an excellent and insightful post. I’m a little different than Jennifer in that I don’t necessarily fear failure, but I am always certain that I will fail.

    I’m sitting here, waiting for my debut novel to release, and all I can think about is, despite all the work I’ve done to promote it, how it’s not going to sell. It was like this at every stage of the book for me: When I was writing it I was sure I’d never finish. When I finished it I was sure my beta readers would hate it. When I sent it to publishers I was sure they would all reject it. When one accepted it, I was sure the editor was going to shred it to pieces. And now I’m sure I’ll sell no more than 8 copies (and all of those to my friends).

    People tell me to think positive. Maybe someday I will be able to.

    • Jennifer says:

      It’s hard Jamie, but I think we get better with time and practice – you will do great with your new release congrats!

  5. Jen, This is from your mother in writing. You are one of the best writers I know. Of course I’m one of those weepy Cancers and I definitely know about being a failure in many areas but when I think about the other writers I’ve given a boost, I feel like a success. Love you.

    • Jennifer says:

      Aww Janet, you are the best mentor in the world! I simply wouldn’t have had the discipline and courage to keep going – thank you so much for your sweet words I do love my Cancers!!!

  6. This post is everything. You could be talking about me–though I’m a Gemini, LOL–including the yoga and meditation. I sometimes think I’d be in the fetal position in a psych ward without my yoga. Thank you so much for this post!

  7. You’re one of the kindest, most joyful and supportive writers I know and you will always be a huge success in my eyes.

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