Try is a rather arbitrary term. What I’ve often found, though, is people draw a line in the sand when they try a particular task for the first time. They say, “I’ll put this much effort into it, and if it doesn’t work, then I’ve done all I can do.” But have you really? Or have you just made an excuse for not completing whatever it is you set out to do in the first place? Then, the next opportunity to try comes along, and the task is repeated all over again with the same result: failure. And after you’ve failed a few times, you decide to give up altogether and not really take any risks at all. And that’s a great life, isn’t it? You don’t really have to fail at anything because you’ve never really tried.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I fail at writing every single day, most of the time it’s multiple times a day, and in rarer cases I fail for months or even years at a time. I’ve scrapped words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and entire drafts all in the slim hope that I might somehow improve my writing. I’ve written multiple drafts before I’ve submitted my work anywhere; I’ve written reviews where the audience has peeled back layers of my skin; and I’ve written novels where I was attacked on both a personal and professional level for my work. Yet, I’m still standing and writing and accumulating rejection letters and prolonged bouts of silence for my latest manuscript endeavor at a record clip.
The only reason I’ve had even the slightest inkling of success: I didn’t draw a line in the sand. Not even a little one. If I had, I would have either moved the line over a thousand times by now, or I would have given up about thirteen years ago. Without even realizing it, I probably would have placed an expiration date on my writing. Writing, though, is better served on a platter without a sell by date.