I eat failure for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert, with snack sized portions between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I eat failure with a smile on my face, with everlasting gratitude. I eat failure with the fevered hunger of Oliver Twist in the workhouse, pleading, "Please Sir, I want some more." I eat failure covered by the pungent sauce of rejection, with a stolid glass of determination to wash it down.
Why do I devour failure so? I do it because it's good-no-great for me as an independent author in today's glutted field of independent authors. The more I fail (and by failure I mean slow book sales, people not showing up at outdoor festivals because of sheets of rain falling from the sky-seemingly until the moment I pack up and leave, so on and so forth), the humbler I remain. So long as I remain humble, I remain focused on producing the best work I can. So long as I remain humble, I remain determined and creative in marketing my work.
To any author or would be author reading this blog entry, know that failure is the norm in the literary world, failure is a ladder to climb toward success. Stephen King- one of the richest and most famous authors of all time- failed so much before he succeeded that he dedicated bulletin board space to tacking up his rejection letters. On his September 1, 2011 blog entry (http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/), master literary blogger and hugely successful self-published author, J.A. Konrath wrote that it took twenty years and more than two million written words for him to achieve his current level of success. I've only been in the writing/publishing world for two years. I've not yet begun to fail! Unless you've been in the business for anywhere near the amount of time Mr. Konrath has, neither have you.
So my advice to aspiring/emerging authors is: Write as well as you possibly can and learn to embrace failure like a loved one returning home from a long abscence. No, learn to eat failure for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert, with snack sized portions between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Learn to learn from failure. Learning from failure can only push you toward success. Trust me (though I've only had small tastes of it so far), success is delicious.