Wednesday, March 22, 2023

On circling the drain

Which do you find harder to cope with, success or failure? In either event do you have ways to keep the world's view of your work from affecting your work?

by Dietrich

When success comes knocking and things are going my way, there’s no struggle, it’s all good, and there’s just an open road ahead. Who doesn’t love that feeling?

Of course, it doesn’t always feel that way. That open road to acceptance, nominations, awards, and other accolades can sometimes seem dotted with potholes of criticism and rejection — the stuff that wants to shake up any writer’s conviction. And sure, we’ve all been told there’s something to be learned from a flop, how we ought to bounce back, come to terms with life’s ups and down, put things in a better light, garner something from a bad experience, accept that it makes us wiser and better at dealing with it, possibly even avoiding the same pothole the next time around. And like Brenda said, “Failure makes success even sweeter.”

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― Hunter S. Thompson  

Starting out, I worked at writing something worth putting on a page, and along the way I learned how to deal with self-doubt. Since writing was something I had wanted to do from when I was in my teens, I dared myself to keep at it until I thought I had something worth sending out. The next step was finding somebody willing to publish it, and by then the self-doubt was starting to fade. Although for a moment it wanted to peek over my shoulder when that first review came in, but I managed to ignore it.

“Life's as kind as you let it be.” ― Charles Bukowski

It’s definitely easier to deal with success, and maybe the best thing about that feeling of failing is it isn’t permanent. I really do think it all boils down to a choice in attitude.

Coming June 6th. Check it out.


James D. A. Terry said...

Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks James.

Susan C Shea said...

My takeaway from your good post is that perspective is all. Roll with it, and remember for better or worse, your writing life goes on. And, actually, that's better!

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks Susan.