A Spectacular Failure

It’s 2013. A new year awaits… as do new resolutions. Some of us are still pressing forward with new ones, while others have given up in despair after the experience of previous years. I will shamelessly admit that I’m in the latter category.

There’s one thing I noticed about resolutions, though–they’re all about reaching a goal or achieving some kind of standard (does “I will lose 10 kilos” sound familiar?). They’re about doing, and succeeding. And that, I think, is the problem.

I will fail, as I’ve always failed. There’s no way I can do it, so why bother? In a world where success is everything, where you’re nothing if you don’t get the gold medal, it really does seem pointless. But what many people seem to have forgotten is the freedom that’s found in trying, and failing. The freedom in being bold, being ambitious, being crazy enough to chase that unattainable goal.

Last year, with an incredible amount of help from my friends, I finally completed the final and edited draft of my first novel. And I started sending it out to a long, long list of agents. I got back a long, long list of form rejection letters. It was, undoubtedly, a failure in terms of starting on the path to becoming a published author.

I chased after the moon, after the stars. I tried to grasp them in my hands and they slipped through my fingers like a gentle fragrance in the air. Yet because I leapt, because I fell, because I tried–I have felt the thrill of the chase. I have felt the exhilaration of each new stride forward, the confidence from knowing that I have done it before and so can do it again. I have known the joy of soaring through the air toward that longed-for opposite ledge, even as I see that I may well fall short and tumble to the bottom instead.

This year isn’t going to be about resolutions to meet. This year will be about resolutions to try for the impossible, to fail spectacularly, and to try again. It will be about resolutions to be brave enough to step out into something new and different, and let the current of the river take me where it will… even if it is over a waterfall.

For who knows? I may well discover that it is more incredible than Niagara Falls.

Leanne Yong is an aspiring author who is working on her second young adult novel. Check out her blog at Clouded Memories for more information and a journal chronicling her latest foray into novel writing.


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