If You Don’t Succeed Is The Journey Worth It? Lessons From A Failed Novel

Over ten years ago I had a grand vision for a book series. I still do. I wrote the first book over and over again until I had about seven drafts. After much toil I decided to lay the book to rest. It was hard but it was time to move on.

Have you ever experienced this? Great expectations followed by severe disappointment?

I ask this not just to writers or artists but to anyone in any walk of life.

Often we have a grand vision for how something should go, but all we end up with is a horrible mess.

This prompts a question that can only come from retrospect.

Was the journey worth it?

Photo Credit: jimcrotty.com via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jimcrotty.com via Compfight cc

Leaving with high hopes and coming up with nothing may seem like failure. Perhaps it is the Top Five Strength of Positivity shining through right now, but I firmly believe it doesn’t have to be this way. We can have fresh restarts and life giving lessons from these experiences.

Take my novel for instance. I worked for over a decade on it and poured hundreds of thousands of words and thousands of hours all for a novel that ends terribly.

But I learned that finishing well is important. That a book cannot end openly, even for a series. I had outstanding critiques and input from friends that shaped it in a beautiful way and learned about the joy of community that every writer needs.

Most of all, failure made me a better writer.

Now, I have a new project. One that has a solid ending, good characters, and a focused POV from the start.

And I wouldn’t have any of this if I didn’t go on the previous novel writing journey.

So I’ll let you decide. Was it worth it?

7 thoughts on “If You Don’t Succeed Is The Journey Worth It? Lessons From A Failed Novel

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  4. Kari Zigterman

    Bob that is an interesting question was it worth it? I have often asked myself that question many times and I always have the answer of yes. I had a plan for my life it was all penciled out. Many would look at my life now and think how unfortunate that I am unmarried and without kids. My life is different than others (as all of ours are). Through the plan sweat an tears of the things in the last 15 years since high school I can say that the journey has been worth it and God is faithful and supplies happiness even when we may think things are going wrong. The journey yet to come will also be worth it.

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