This is usually the time when people make New Year’s resolutions in the hopes they can keep them. Yet, as statistics show, many fail before the month of January is over.
I haven’t made a resolution in years, possibly because I know I’m a work-in-progress—a creature of habit that needs constant nudges to keep me on track throughout the year, not just on January 1st.
But if I’m honest, it’s also because I’m afraid to fail. If I write down a resolution or goal for the upcoming year and it doesn’t get met…then I’ve failed, right? And since I already feel like I fail on a daily basis in just being a mother (whether in minor or major ways), do I really need to add more failures to the growing pile?
For 2015, however, there’s one area in which I hope I bomb—because it will actually reflect progress and a slice of success: after making a final polish of a completed manuscript I’ve let linger in the bowels of my laptop for two years, I plan to send off a bunch of query letters to publishers and agents. If you’re a writer or understand the process of becoming a published author, you know why I need to psych myself up…to fail.
Because I expect to receive a lot of rejection letters in return.
This is not pessimism, per se. This is reality for many writers and it’s a big part of why I have put off querying all this time. For who in their right mind would willingly expose to the public something into which they’ve poured immeasurable amounts of time, tears, angst, joy, and pieces of their heart if they knew it would meet with rejection? Yet that is what writers do all over the world every day. And so I have decided ahead of time I will try to have some fun with the likelihood of rejections so that when they come, they won’t be able to define who I am or beat me down with their whispers of seeming failure. I don’t know what that fun is going to look like yet, but I’ll keep you posted. 😉
And really, as a child of God, is it failure to receive rejection? The world measures success by how many books a writer publishes or how many paintings an artist sells or how big the profit margin looks for a given company, but God measures success in completely different ways. Though writing is a gift He’s given me, that doesn’t necessarily mean I will ever see publication. Even as I reach for it, I’m to pray for His guidance, trust Him with my hopes and dreams, and continue to step forward as He lights my path one day at a time. And if I succeed in doing that, then whether or not I have a book to my name, I haven’t truly failed, have I?
So here’s to the failures that come our way in 2015.
May we turn them on their heads and use them as stepping stones to further our progress up whatever mountain God has us climbing!