Try is a rather arbitrary term. What Iíve often found, though, is people draw a line in the sand when they try a particular task for the first time. They say, ďIíll put this much effort into it, and if it doesnít work, then Iíve done all I can do.Ē 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 youíve failed a few times, you decide to give up altogether and not really take any risks at all. And thatís a great life, isnít it? You donít really have to fail at anything because youíve never really tried.
Iíll let you in on a little secret. I fail at writing every single day, most of the time itís multiple times a day, and in rarer cases I fail for months or even years at a time. Iíve scrapped words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and entire drafts all in the slim hope that I might somehow improve my writing. Iíve written multiple drafts before Iíve submitted my work anywhere; Iíve written reviews where the audience has peeled back layers of my skin; and Iíve written novels where I was attacked on both a personal and professional level for my work. Yet, Iím 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 Iíve had even the slightest inkling of success: I didnít 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.