For all of us, come one time or another, it’s impossible to float through life with only experiences resulting from the best decision. If one says privately or publicly he/she never screwed up on anything, that’s either a joke or a serious misapprehension. Anyone is fully capable of doing stupid things knowingly and in hindsight, and laying blame on another usually magnifies the situation. Sometimes it is our fault.
I find myself working hard at a job I enjoy, but still want to devote time to my reading/writing. I want to review more books. I want to read more classics. I want to get my first draft of my third book done. I want to interact with cool people on social websites. As you read this, you’ll see what happens to me at a sushi bar: My eyes are bigger than my stomach.
But that’s getting started for the new author. Once the work is done, the new author realizes the work has only begun. The more blogs we join, the more interaction is expected, and as John Locke (and others) point out, if you’re out of the game too long, people forget you were ever there to start with.
On my writing journey, I try to learn from my screw-ups. I need to open my spam folder to make sure a blogger isn’t trying to contact me about featuring my books (“doh!”). I need to read and act on correspondence when people send messages to do so, or get organized, as Shelley Hitz is trying to teach me. An hour becomes a day, then a week, then a month, then a lifetime in cyberspace. While struggling, I do try to fractionate what I’m realistically able to do. Most wise people would say to do a few things well instead of many things poorly. What makes sense is use your strengths to your advantage. Generally, most people like doing what they do well, and are less likely to fail at it. To clarify, new authors without dozens of glowing amazon reviews or thousands of sales, I don’t call that failure. I call it beginning.
An article I read long ago said, “It’s at least as important in life in how you deal with failure as success.” As one admitting to not having the Midas touch for all decisions, I still enjoy the journey.