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5 Guaranteed Ways to Fail as a Writer

November 17th, 2016 by Margaret Feinberg


What if I step out to achieve my dream of being a writer only to experience devastating failure?

This fear tops the list of scariest monsters hiding in most writers’ closets. And we aren’t the only ones. Recent polls show that fear of failure ranks as one of Americans’ top 10 fears.

Failure is not an irrational fear for writers.

Countless writers drop out of the ranks each year. I don’t have time or space to name all the writers I’ve known over the years who’ve packed up and called it quits. They tried but success eluded them.

The threat of failing is real. You should be afraid—very afraid. But fortunately for you, another way is possible.

Failure doesn’t have to be the conclusion of your story.

Many time-tested strategies exist that can help you fight your way to success. That’s part of the reason we started this blog. To introduce you to these tips and tricks week after week.

But, I don’t want to assume anything about you. Maybe you don’t want to achieve your dreams. Maybe you’d prefer to crash and burn in failure. If so, you’re in luck. Having observed my fair share of epic writing fails, I can offer you 5 guaranteed ways to fail as a writer:

– Keep talking about tomorrow: Over the years, I’ve had dozens of aspiring authors come to me and ask for advice. They almost never follow it. Instead, they keep talking about how they are going to take those important and difficult steps to becoming a writer… tomorrow.

Many writers don’t succeed because they don’t start.

– Don’t differentiate: What makes you you? Or what makes you not not you? If this sounds confusing, it shouldn’t be. Because every writer must learn the simple art of differentiating themselves. Too many writers get stuck trying to be just like whoever the popular writer du jour is.

If you fail to differentiate, you’re destined to fail.

– Only Invest in Others: At Write Brilliant, we are all about relationships. We encourage our writers to invest a lot of time, energy, and even resources with their friends and families. Writing is wonderful, but it’s not everything. However, if you only invest in others and not yourself, you’ll end up drained and depleted. Attend a conference. Read a good book on writing. Or take a proven online writing course (wink, wink).

Investing in yourself always pays dividends.

– Let Rejection Become Your Kryptonite: Every knight has a kink in their armor. Every superhero has a weakness. And every writer has sensitivities that can lead to failure. If you can’t handle rejection, then you better toughen up fast. Writing is a road that is paved with “no.” If you decide to walk it, I can promise you’ll hear that syllable more often than you’d like.

Prepare for rejection or prepare for failure.

– Quit: This one seems to easy but needs to be said. When you begin writing, you need to decide that nothing—I mean, nothing—is going to make you give up. The writers who succeed are often the writers who outlast everyone else. They keep pressing and keep pushing and keep forging ahead until they force their way through.

Quitters never achieve and achievers never quit.

For all of you failure junkies out there, congratulations. You now have a guaranteed plan for never succeeding at writing.

But for the rest of you, we have lots of strategies for succeeding. If you’re interested, we want to offer you three FREE video lectures where you’ll learn all those tricks your English teacher never taught you.

Sign-up here and start realizing your dream right now!