In June I made a public declaration. I drew a line in the sand by saying that I would write and publish my book by November 1st. Today is the deadline. Today I have failed.
Well, not really. I actually failed a few months ago when I realized there was no way it could be finished in time. And I’m okay with that.
I could create a list of excuses, but instead I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned from this failure:
- 1) Deadlines are a good thing – Even though I failed to meet this one, it forced me to get started. The book would still be an idea had I not started.
- 2) Vision can grow – The book is underway, and it is not the same book I started writing. It’s going to be more and it’s going to be better. I could have finished a small book that skimmed the surface and met the deadline. That wasn’t good enough for me.
- 3) Yet – I’ve failed to meet my deadline, but I have not failed to write my book…yet! The work on the book continues and it will be finished, probably next year (new deadline TBD).
Zig Ziglar said, “Failure is an event, not a person.” That is true of me and my book. And it’s true of us all in one arena or another.
There are only two valid responses to failure. You can get up and try again, or you can give up and try something else. Either can be the right response depending on the situation.
So today I have failed to meet a deadline, but I am not a failure. Today I offer myself grace and persevere. Today I start writing again!
The only other option is to give up and never try anything again. And if I did, my heart would beat but my spirit would die. And then I really would be a failure.
What about you? Have you failed, or are you a failure? Which do you choose?
Note: This article will appear in the November 2010 issue of the Tri-City Review.