Tag Archives: failures

Authors Answer 135 – Authors’ Biggest Failures

Everyone fails at something. I failed to post the Authors Answer for the last two weeks. But I was on a trip in Japan. Since we are talking about writing, authors tend to have plenty of failures, right? That’s what we’re talking about. How bad can it get?

Question 135 – What is your biggest writing failure?

H. Anthe Davis

If you mean the piece I did worst on, I’d say my Book 1. Even after years and years of development, I still feel like I pushed it out too early, with several issues still unresolved. I just really wanted to get it out there, and ignored some critique in order to do so. I’ve since gone back and amended that, and will be republishing the book soon, but I still wish I’d waited. If you mean my biggest writing failing, as in what I do badly… I think I try too much to end sections with zingers, and use too many over-complex sentences and dashes. I always go and cut some of that up when I do edits.

Paul B. Spence

I have a lot of ideas, and tend to start a lot of different projects at once. I’m not sure if it is a failure or a good thing. Let me explain: I have dozens of novels started. Some of them are in my head, others written down in part. Not finishing them before starting a new one is something of a failure. I’d like to get them all written eventually, I just keep coming up with more…

Jean Davis

Oh my, there are so many to pick from. Generally, I’d say it’s probably my lack of planning. It’s about a 50/50 whether that works out or not as my novel works in progress folder will attest to. While I’ve managed to turn a couple of those floundering projects around, there are a few others that I just plain have no idea how to fix/finish/rescue from their current state of massive suck. They started out as good ideas, but then fell apart. Does this mean I’ll take up planning to solve this failing? Maybe in baby steps, but I’m rather set in my ways.

D. T. Nova

Taking at least 5 years to finish one novel, I guess.

Otherwise I haven’t really done enough to have major successes or failures.

Beth Aman

Wow, this is a tough one. I​ wouldn’t say it’s a failure, necessarily – more of a learning process. I finally retired an old manuscript, realizing I had better stories to tell, better characters to create. But it was my first ​completed novel, and​ I had put so much work into editing and ‘perfecting’ it, so it was really hard to let go of it. Now, I somewhat regret that I spent so much time ​editing, ​writing query letters​,​ and worrying​ about publishing it, when I am now no longer trying to get it published.​ But honestly, I learned a ton from the whole process, so I don’t think I can call that a failure.​

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I don’t know if I’ve really done enough to consider any particular thing a “failure”, exactly. I submitted a story to a publisher once and was rejected, but I’d hardly call one rejection a failure. I entered NYC Midnight’s Short-Short Story Competition and got knocked out in the second round, but I was competing against lots of awesome writers and I did manage to make it through the first round, so I wouldn’t call that a failure either.

If I’m going to call any part of my writing career thus far a “failure”, I’d probably go with my self-marketing, or lack thereof. I find it extremely difficult to market and promote myself, and even when I do give it a go I’m really, really bad at it, and as a result my book sales thus far have been fairly abysmal. I’ve got some awesome reviews, and everyone who does read both of my available books tells me that they loved them, but I consistently fail to promote myself and actually get people finding the books.

Elizabeth Rhodes

This is uncomfortable for me to admit. Jasper was not as great as I’d hoped. And after taking another look at it, I’d decided it needed more work. I lost confidence in myself and haven’t done much since. I’m currently working on getting that creative energy back, but losing it in the first place definitely counts as my biggest failure.

C E Aylett

I honestly don’t know. I mean, I’m sure I have a back catalogue of poor stories form when I was starting out, but I wouldn’t call them failures if they were part of the learning process. I suppose I don’t think in terms of ‘failure’ — every time I do something to do with my writing, be that creating the story, submitting the story, having it critiqued, researching it, redrafting it, or whatever, I count it as progress.

Gregory S. Close

My biggest failure is not writing consistently. Despite all good intentions, I’m not producing word count. That’s the worst failure because even writing poorly at least provides something to edit/improve.

Eric Wood

My biggest writing failure is not writing. have a few ideas for some children’s books. Those ideas sit patiently waiting in a notebook. One has been there for a few years now. What’s holding me back? Fear of rejection? Fear of success? All of the above? I have been writing my blog, but zero fiction.

Jay Dee Archer

What can I say about this? I haven’t published anything yet, and my biggest failure is probably not writing enough. I need to be able to spend time writing without any interruptions. My inconsistency make it difficult for me to write anything that has flow. I really need to work on this.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what’s your biggest failure? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Authors Answer 85 – Authors Aren’t Perfect

I know what you’re thinking, authors can do anything. They’re so amazing at everything they do. They have limitless abilities and are pretty much superheroes or idols. Right? Well, we may be almost perfect. We do have flaws. Okay, I’m kidding. We’re real people who have our talents and, believe it or not, things we just can’t seem to do. This week, we discuss our lack of talent.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 85 – Is there something you can’t do no matter how many times you try?

Allen Tiffany

Correctly spell “available”.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I’m sure there are lots of things that I just can’t do no matter what, but the first thing that came to my mind was “fighting games”. You know games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter? I’m absolute rubbish at them. That’s not to say that I’m fabulous at other kinds of games, but fighting games in particular are my sworn enemy. I’m just horrible at the button combinations and the timing required. I’ve been playing games like these since I was a kid, but I’ve always just been a button masher, hoping for the best.

H. Anthe Davis

Can’t really think of anything, sorry.  There are plenty of things I haven’t tried, and plenty of things I don’t do because I’m bad at them, but nothing I keep hammering at despite being bad at it.

S. R. Carrillo

Stay sane. ^_^

Eric Wood

I have tried to learn to juggle 4 and 5 things but I just can’t get it. Granted, I haven’t put in the amount of time practicing as I did when I taught myself to juggle three things. Nevertheless, I just can’t seem to do it.

Paul B. Spence

Fly. I’ve tried thinking happy thoughts. I’ve tried throwing myself at the ground and missing. Nothing seems to work. Sigh.

Jean Davis

Knit. Can’t do it. Nor crochet. Neither of those things works with my hands or brain. Yet, I love cross stitch so it’s not a counting thing. I’ve tried both several times over the years, but to no avail.

Elizabeth Rhodes

To this day, I have never learned to whistle. I’ve tried, and occasionally a weak little whistling sound will come out, but I can’t do it consistently. It also took me ages to figure out how to snap my fingers.

D. T. Nova

Most things that I’ve been repeatedly unsuccessful at are things I did eventually get the hand of, and most things that I think I’m not good at I never tried that many times.

However, I still can’t draw well at all compared to the amount of time I’ve spent trying to learn.

Gregory S. Close

Yes.  I really suck at knitting.  I volunteered for my daughter’s 2nd Grade class a few years ago to help with the weekly knitting activity.  I thought it would be a cool skill to learn, and I’m generally fairly dextrous with my fingers.  Alas, I could not master this skill.  I could get it started, and I could occasionally get it going, but I invariably ran afoul of my own fingers and ended up with a mess.  It was embarrassing, as most of the 2nd Graders caught on eventually, and I was no help at all.

The experience did give me a lot of ideas about how to handle the physical act of casting a spell, and served as a good illustration about the difference between conceptualizing a task and accomplishing it.  How many wizards could grasp the spell theory of magic, but couldn’t master the spell mechanics to channel and focus the magic? I thought that was intriguing.  I also gave my surly mercenary knight the hobby of knitting, which he learned from a now-deceased mentor, and which plays a bit of an interesting role in the narrative.

Linda G. Hill

I can’t whistle. At least not outwards. Inwards I can do. Unfortunately it’s hard to carry a tune that way.

Jay Dee Archer

No matter how many times I try, I just can’t snap my fingers. Why? I don’t get it. I can replicate the motion, but the sound just doesn’t come out. What am I doing wrong?

Also, I can never seem to beat one of my friends at Angry Birds Friends on Facebook. I always come in second.

How about you?

What are some things that you can never seem to do correctly no matter how many times you try? Let us know in the comments below.