Failing our way to the bestseller list

“Failure is priceless.” I agree wholeheartedly with the above caption. I also agree with the interesting BNET article I read about, “Why Failure is the Secret of Your Success.” I agree with the article’s main point that our kids don’t know how to fail. Some of our generation don’t know how to fail. It is the coveted ability to deal with failure that assures our true, long term success. As Michael Caine (playing Alfred the Butler) told Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins after Wayne tells him he’s a failure, “Master Wayne, why do we fall? So we learn to pick ourselves up.”

We’ve all heard the stories of how JK Rowling, Stephen King, and John Grisham toiled for years in obscurity, received enough rejection letters to wallpaper his entire office, and resorted to self-publishing after numerous rejections and had to sell copies out of the trunk of his car. Without these short term failures, they wouldn’t be the same writers. If they had received success after the first book they ever attempted, do you think they would be just one hit wonders and not the reliable authors who continue to pump out best seller after best seller? I think so.

I’ve been writing for almost 10 years, and I’ve had numerous failures. After receiving a heap of rejection letters, I’ve self-published two novels.  But, my second novel was better than the first. My next novel will be better than the second. I’m working on both nonfiction and fiction right now, I network with the writing community through this blog, on twitter, I belong to a writing group, I attend the annual writers conference in my area every year and I have an agent. I am learning from my mistakes. If something doesn’t work, I try something else to get my name out there. But all the while, my writing is getting better and better. Someone once said that the definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. I’ll take being called a failure or being called stupid any day.

What about you? Tell us about your failures in writing. And tell us what you’re doing differently to overcome them.


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at