Conscious Failure: Using an Experimental Outlook with Writing.


You can see from the accompanying image that failure is viewed traditionally as being unsuccessful, unfulfilling, and a lack of completion. It is time of emotional sorrow, of darkness, and of uncertainty. While it can be all that, it doesn’t have to be.

Changing Your Outlook
Instead of the above, have periods in your writing career that it is okay to “fail” on purpose. The focus should be as one childrens’ show once put it — “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.” The mindset during this timeframe should be one or more of the following:

  • No expectations –What you create is fine. Just focus on generating output. There is lots of time later to let your mind enjoy the opportunity to judge. 🙂
  • No timeframes — Work from a mindset of just writing with no deadlines. Enjoy the ride and do not impose the shackles of scarcity on yourself.
  • No rules — Follow only minimum rules and guidelines. Encourage the mind to wander into flights of the imagination.
  • Take breaks when needed — Periodic breaks can provide insights that may otherwise be overlooked.
  • Put it aside — When it is done, put the writing aside. Revisit it after a period of time when you can truly look at it with fresh eyes and an open mind.
  • Try something different — Purposely try something different this time with your writing. Perhaps working in a park, creating in another language, and having a character very unlike those you typically do. etc.
  • Enjoy the “time off” — Periods like this are rare. So enjoy the dance of those moments.
  • If you take every work as a teacher and the outcome as a lesson to learn then no matter what happens, it cannot be viewed as a failure. By deliberately choosing times of no ground underneath, then you and your writing will both benefit from the experiences.