Why Failure is the Best Writing Advice

What if I told you that I got a C for O level English five years ago? 

Before the IGCSE exam, I always scored 90 and above for my mock exams.

My English lecturer loved me, and my friends always looked for me whenever they need revision for their English essays. However one fateful Monday afternoon, a giant grade C just flashed across the IGCSE grading screen. It didn’t take five minutes for my English teacher to emailed his disappointment and passed that story to juniors as an example of what-not-to-do. 

It was supposed to be a devastating moment for anyone who dreamed to be a professional writer.  Strangely for me, it’s the beginning of a marvelous journey. 

At that moment, I realized that all this time I’ve been writing for other people – my teachers, peers and most importantly, my grades. I write for the scoring rubric, not for myself. The fear of failing the English O Level exam used to be my biggest nightmare and kept me awake at night.  Who would have thought that this failure turned out to be a blessing in disguise? 

  1. Failure is the best advice to anything

Failure can only be said as so if we don’t stop trying even after the experience. Failure is like a beautiful black feline that allures you with its charming green eyes and soft purs. The little cat will lead you to places you’ve never been before, including a dead end. When you reach the corner, you lost the cat and your way back home. However, the footsteps that lead you here will slowly bring you back where you came from. Because of the journey with the cat, you learn your way back home, even finding some new shortcuts. 

This is how failure tastes like. When you try and fail, you will figure out what you do wrong. Keep trying after failing means going out of your comfort zone. That is why we have to chase the black cat, even if it means leaving our homes. 

  1. Your first draft will be shit but that is necessary

After reading the best writing advice from Buffer, it reminds me of my first fanfiction. Three years ago, my commas were all over the place, my characters were all talk and no action, and I forced big vocabulary words into my simple romance story.  I found that writing on my laptop yesterday and cringed. I couldn’t believe I allowed that work to be published online! However, this situation opens my eyes – it shows me how far have I become. My writing might be far from perfect now, but it’s a little bit better than what I write a few years ago. 

  1. The best selling authors suffered

Who is your favorite author? Do you know that some of your favorite books are born from adversity? One of the most prominent examples is J.K Rowling, the woman who gives birth to the Harry Potter series. Not only her work was rejected by 12 publishers a few years ago, but she also went through a divorce before she decided to put her pen on paper. The best-selling horror author Stephen King used to write short stories for magazines, become a teacher and a janitor to support himself. Nicholas Sparks’ famous work ‘The Notebook’ was turned down by 24 publishers back then. Imagine a world where these authors quit because of their rejections. We wouldn’t have a dream of flying to Hogwarts!

By the end of the day, the best kind of advice never comes from people. Not your favorite author, your parents or lecturers. 

Failure is the best teacher we could have ever asked for.

Published by Caroline Natasia Cahyadi

I am an adult, yet I spend my free time crying over fictional characters, eating chocolate and thanking Jesus Christ for dying on the cross for a crybaby like me.

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