Failure is the secret to success

Yesterday I received feedback on one of my novels from an alpha reader. The input he had was basically this: it was so bad that I couldn’t bring myself to read more than the first chapter.

Now, that’s not exactly something a writer wants to hear. You certainly hope people will love it, and you expect they will point out some small problems here and there, but you never expect it will be that bad. It’s hard not to e-mail him back and say, “Well, oh yeah, how about this and this and this?!”

But I appreciate his input. As I get feedback from other alpha readers it’ll be interesting if they comment the same thing. That’s entirely the point, after all, of having alpha readers. I need them to point out the glaring things I missed simply because I was too close to my own brilliance. It’s a work in progress, after all, and one can’t expect it to be perfect out of the gate.

So, after getting that feedback, I was pleased to stumble across this little video this morning. It’s a Honda video about failure. I love it. The part I especially love is about 2:30 minutes in (with about 5:45 left), in which Danica Patrick talks about how drivers are constantly trying to push up against the fear, getting used to it, and then pushing even further. That’s exactly the kind of stuff I need to be doing. “You’re constantly on the brink of crashing.”