Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
Who likes to fail?
No one, right?
I don’t even like the synonyms for failure: tanked, bust, crashed, burned.
They make it sound as though you can’t redeem yourself. As though along with failing, that failure itself signifies a finality to your endeavor.
The opposite is true. Failure always brings us to new beginnings.
That “new beginning” stuff sounds like a platitude and when we’re depressed about our defeat.
But it’s more than a platitude. It’s the truth.
I was fired once over a philosophical belief. It’s a long story (it always is). The short story is that I held a certain belief that my board of directors didn’t endorse.
Suddenly, I was without a job.
I went through the usual turmoil of anger and resentment. To friends I said, “How could they?” “You won’t believe what they said!” “They can’t be serious.”
Well, they were serious.
So I painted some rooms and thought about my future. During those months, I decided to launch my own business and here I am today.
I’m happier now than if I had continued in that job. And that’s the truth too.
How to Rise from Failure
So how does this blog post apply to you? Good question. Failure comes in different shades and degrees and applies to different layers of life.
Failure as an Author
Do you ever feel as though you’re failing as an author? Take these steps:
- Sign up for a writer’s conference.
- Hire the best developmental editor you can afford.
- Take workshops to help you develop your craft.
- If you write nonfiction, hire a book coach.
- Sign up for webinars and teleseminars on craft.
- Write another book.
- Try a different genre.
- Write some poetry.
- Read great authors, you know, the masters: Faulkner, Woolf, Hemingway, Chekov.
Failure as a Marketer
Let’s face it; if you’re an Indie writer, you’re also a marketer. If you want your books to sell, you’ve got to put some energy into building your platform.
Authors new to marketing worry about mistakes. Here’s the truth: we’ve all made them, and they can all be corrected or at least ameliorated.
- Did you select the wrong Twitter handle? That’s easily taken care of. Just log into your twitter account and change it. Then remember to change it everywhere else, such as your blog, website, email signature, business cards, etc.
- Would you like to start over with your Facebook page? Unless you have a thousand or more page Likes, delete it and start over.
- Is your book priced too high? Log into CreateSpace, KDP or IngramSpark and lower the price.
- Did you send a tweet you wished you hadn’t? Follow these directions:
- Visit your Profile page.
- Locate the Tweet you want to delete.
- Click the More or ellipsis icon ( ••• ).
- Click Delete Tweet.
- You can remove items from your Facebook Timeline, but that won’t negate the fact that they’re already in your fans’ and friends’ news feeds. To get rid of status updates from your Timeline:
- Hover over the post on your Page’s Timeline.
- Click the arrow in the top-right corner of your post.
- Select Hide from Page or Delete Photo, which will delete the entire post and image.
- Do you want to start all over with Twitter? Cancel your current account and start anew.
- Are you beating yourself up because you didn’t send a press release when you launched your book? Write one and send it today.
- Do you wish you had chosen a different domain name or chosen another WordPress theme? Hire a web developer, select a new theme, buy a new domain and transfer the content.
- Have you been promoting your books too frequently on social media? Stop. Adopt the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time post quotes, images and content from other writers and 20 percent of the time promote your stuff.
- Do you hate your profile image? Ask a friend to spend some time with you taking new shots, and then use PicMonkey.com to edit the image.
- Join a LinkedIn or Facebook group or a Google+ Community to learn more and develop your marketing skills.
How to Avoid Social Media Gaffes
There’s only one way to prevent a serious gaffe on social media. Self-reflect before you self-reveal. Ask yourself if what you’re about to post would be something you wouldn’t want your employer, rabbi or pastor to see.
If you make other errors, they can almost always be corrected to some degree.
Just try not to worry about errors. Venture out onto the social web, create some profiles, read blogs and try to improve your skills over time.
Remember, others will be far more forgiving of the errors you make than you will. So cut yourself some slack, experiment with your content, and have fun.
Frances Caballo is a Contributing Writer for The Book Designer. She is also an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. Click here to receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers.