My Dad would say something like the above to me when I discussed my coaches/teachers feedback after a game/race/test or exam. He said it enough times that it sunk in, and I believe it to be true of everything.
This doesn’t mean I like making mistakes; I don’t.
It doesn’t mean I am fearless; I’m not.
I try because to get better I have to go outside my comfort zone, regardless of fear and the risk of embarrassing myself. When I do this two important things happen.
The first is my fear disappears. A good example of this is submitting manuscripts whether it’s poetry, picture books or longer stories. Yes, I still get nervous but I’m not fearful anymore. I've done it enough times to know the world won’t end, my family will still love me, and the sun will rise tomorrow.
Failure 1 – Facts and Figures
The basis of the competition was people who subscribed to my blog during would go into a draw to win a book of poetry. Not one new person subscribed to my blog. Along with this, I had about 8 likes (total over 14 days) and one share for one of the posts on Facebook. There were no likes or re-tweets on Twitter.
- Not everyone likes poetry like I do (a bitter, bitter pill to swallow!)
- Offer content that people need or want.
- A competition and free stuff does not always guarantee interest.
My intention was to pick a different love poem for each day leading up to Valentine’s Day, and write a short but interesting post about each one. This meant 14 poems and posts. I didn’t write a post each day, so I broke a promise. That is now very evident on my blog if anyone reads through the posts. I may come across as someone who can’t carry through.
- Plan ahead – I should have had the blog posts written well and truly before I started the competition.
- Keep a promise - Passion and intent a great but they don’t always win over the everyday random events that life can throw at me to disrupt my blogging plans. If I had planned I would have kept my promise.
Success 1 – I overcame my fear of blogging. I don’t particularly enjoy blogging but it is something that I would like to get better at. I am nervous about posting but it don’t prevent me from getting something up on my blog anymore. (Especially if no one reads what I write – there’s no pressure :D)
Success 2 – I’m planning a new short series of blog posts that will be written beforehand and have content that I think is important to potential writers/readers.
Success 3 – I made time to read some of my favourite love poems, and quite a few others as well.
So I tried and made some very obvious mistakes. I am embarrassed that my posts were a resounding failure. I am embarrassed and disappointed that I couldn’t send out a book of lovely poems to a new subscriber. There were also some good things to come from this experience.
I just have one thing to add to my Dad’s pearl of wisdom – “You make mistakes because you try, and you will be better for the lessons.”