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Showing posts from December, 2010

On failure

In this Free Thinking Festival lecture, Frank Cotrell Boyce talks about the importance of failure in culture and particularly for writers  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wbnxq).   We as respondents to writers see students everyday who are paralyzed by a fear of failure.  I rather like how Boyce in the lecture digs into the notion that fearing failure keeps a writer (or any one for that matter) from taking chances or from fully exploring the possibilities.

Sure no one likes to fail, but part of the problem is that we've made failure tantamount to the need to be expelled from a community.  If we are to succeed as writers or, I think Boyce would argue, we need to allow for and expect failures and allow ourselves to learn lessons rather than just fearing failure and casting out those who fail among us.

Cheering on failure, of course, is easier said than done, but I think if we focus on the positive and figure out what our failures have taught us then we are in better shape than i…