How to Succeed at Failure

As I’ve written in the ‘About’ section, this blog is a documentation of my journey towards my dream: to be a successful, published writer. I never imagined it would be easy. In the past, I’ve written about comparisonlosing and gaining inspiration, originality and getting my writing to more people.

Now, the more I get involved with the publishing industry, the more I realise that it’s not an understatement to say it’s competitive. So inevitably, failure has become a part of my journey, as has a question I frequently ask myself:

How am I supposed to stand out if I’m average?

True, I have a list of work placements and extracurricular activities on my CV; so does everyone else. I have good grades; so do many people. And I love books and writing, as does everyone in the industry. So how can I be anyone’s first choice if I’m not extraordinary in any way?

Continue reading “How to Succeed at Failure”


Ideas. Like a tiny seedling can sprout to become a giant tree, like a word can become a sentence, a paragraph, and then a story, like a handful of chords can become a song, an idea can grow to become something much larger.

But where do ideas go? They appear in your head one second and the next, they are fading away in a flood of other thoughts. It’s as if something suddenly inspires you – turns the clogs in your brain, reaches your very core, and what is produced is an idea, like Willy Wonka’s machine produced ‘just’ a stick of gum after all its whirring and whizzing. Lithe as a leopard and fragile as a hummingbird, that idea rests in your head for a heartbeat and in that moment, you need to grab it. An idea is like a wisp of smoke, there one second and gone the next, disappearing between your fingers almost before you realise it’s there. Forgetting an idea feels like a waste to me, because who knows, one small idea could lead to a best selling novel.

Take my ‘A Word a Week’ idea. When collecting a bunch of nouns, adjectives and verbs to choose from each week, ideas flitted in and out of my brain about each of them. And now, several months later,  those ideas are just vague memories, and when I pulled the word ‘attain’ out recently, my brain was blank. Although remembering my initial idea would probably not have led to a novel, it would most likely have led to a blog post, which is still an achievement for me. Still, at least this frustrating lack of ideas has inspired me to write something.

And in the future, I’m following Roald Dahl’s method of finding “a pencil, a pen, a crayon, a lipstick, anything that will write” and scribbling my ideas down while I still remember them.