Is There Really Such a Thing as Failing as a Writer?

Get your Expectations Right and You’ll be a Writer Forever

Am I a “successful” writer?

I guess for most standards, I am definitely far from being one. I barely have an audience, I don’t make a living from my writing and I am surrounded with non-writers in my daily life.

Also, it’s clear that my articles still need a whole lot of improvement to leave any kind of long term impact on my readership.

Yet, as Tammy Hader wrote beautifully in her article about The Truth About Learning to Be a Writer,

“After all, the first person who should believe that I am a writer, is me.”

Not only couldn’t I describe it in better words, this particularly resonated with me because, even after a few hundred hours put into writing for the past year, nobody in my circle would ever consider me as a writer.

And yet, on days when I wake up late and don’t get to write my article in the morning, I spend the entire day feeling the urge to do so.

You are a writer if you need to write

I start being in a rather negative mood and get irritated with whatever takes time as I feel it’s getting me closer to the end of the day and thus to an entire day without writing.

Even just thinking about incoming days during which I may not be able to write gets me dreading them.

Why? Because I feel the need to write. Writing is now compulsory for me.

Not due to some teacher asking me to write a paper for a class. Not because my boss asked me to write an article. Not because I have a gun put to my head. Not even because I want to post anything now.

Simply because I need to.

Putting words on paper, reflecting on my life, facing my difficulties and reminding myself all I face is actually very common for many people around the world allows me to be whole.

Then, organizing all those thoughts into one article provides me with the pleasure of being able to compartmentalize the experience or thought and move on.

And when I post my article, I can rest soundly, knowing that maybe someone going through the same situation or thoughts could be able to handle it faster and better than I did.

You’ll fail the moment you stop

Whether it’s a hobby or a job for you, just like many other things, giving up is the real enemy here.

But what makes us give up after all?

The biggest enemy is expectations.

The more you hope to accomplish, the harder it is to keep going.

I started writing online originally in order to share my love of languages (at which I am not doing such a great job I believe) and improve my life and the ones who will read me through positive and honest articles.

I wanted to change the world for the better and leave an impact. I couldn’t wait to do so!

But I soon realized I was just rushing towards my own failure. Expecting so much despite not having any experience in writing, despite knowing very well my inability to organize my thoughts properly, despite starting with no support whatsoever was foolish.

I had to set my objectives once again.

I needed to learn modesty all over again.

I’ve been told for years I am a “genius” at learning languages (oh, if only I really were) and I have been rather successful in most endeavors I’ve tried. Without wanting to, that had gotten to my head.

I tuned down my expectations:

Even if just one single person reads, if that one person decides to better himself/herself thanks to what I’ve written, all would be enough for me.

After all, in this whole process, even if nobody reads nor likes what I’ve written, at the very least, I’ll know I’ll have bettered myself. And that’s always better than nothing.

Looking straight ahead, with my head held high, eyes full of confidence and a huge smile, I’ll keep working at my craft.

Who knows, maybe one day find that single person I was brought to inspire will show up. I don’t even need to know it. Because not knowing it might contribute to me keeping trying and trying and… maybe inspire two people?

Polyglot speaking 6 languages. Writer. Helping the world to learn languages and become more understanding of others. Say hi →

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