Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Wayward Blogger Returns; Or Failure Is an Option. Quiting Isn't!

So, if you follow this blog, you know I haven't posted for over a month. I apologize for that, but my writing time got squeezed a bit this summer and I choose to put the blog on hold so I'd have extra time for writing my middle-grade historical novel (which is a little more than halfway done... Yeah!).


Now that the Fall semester has begun at my community college, my schedule is less erratic and I have set things up where I should be able to get more writing done, which includes this blog.

Over the summer, I helped out with freshman orientation and the main speaker for this event talked about the difference between growth mindsets and fixed mindsets.

book4 vs. 2 Brick Wall

For those who don't know much about this topic here are a few good articles/videos that will help deepen your knowledge:

Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: An Introduction Video

Carol Dweck Revisits the 'Growth Mindset'

What Having a “Growth Mindset” Actually Means

So what does this all mean for writers? Librarians? Students?

In short, success in academics and life isn't about how inherently smart you are, but rather how willing you are to increase your knowledge, learn from your mistakes/failures, and grow as a person.

The speaker had two main lines that stuck with me (and are the title of this blog post).

Failure is an option. Quiting isn't.


This is one of the main things that sets apart those with growth and fixed mindsets. People with growth mindsets, while they don't set out to fail, are okay if it happens because they view the whole thing as a learning experience.

This is an important idea to keep in mind as writers, librarians, or students. Writers know all about failures. Failed stories, plots that fall apart midway, rejected books, and other things that make you want to put your head in a bag.

Image result for bag on head emoticon

Librarians know how it feels to plan events that no one attends, to have a book you recommend turn out to not be liked by the patron you thought would love it, or any number of other setbacks that make you feel like you've joined the crew of the Titanic.


Students know about failing tests, being unable to finish papers on time, not understanding homework, and much more. And sometimes those failures can make you want to explode in frustration.


However, the growing writer, librarian, and student will take these failures in stride, dust themselves off and try again and again until they finally figure out how to succeed. It isn't an easy road, but it is one worth traveling because it leads not just to success, but also to more rounded, empathetic, and supportive people. After all, we understand what it is like to fail, but not to quit.

Lastly, I'll leave you with this quote, which I think sums up the growth mindset pretty well and reminds us of what it takes to be successful in life in spite of our setbacks.

"When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work." - George Bernard Shaw