Quitting: Is it failure?

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Quit. It can be such a negative word. I’ve heard messages my entire life of “don’t quit” or “don’t give up.”

I use the word “quit” with my kids almost every single day in the form of “Quit fighting!” I laugh at that because they’re never going to stop fighting. When they really get into an argument that won’t let up, I make them do more chores. I figure if they’re going to fight, they might as well do something productive while they argue.

We encourage our children to stick with sports or their music, dance or karate lessons that we may or may not have pressured them into taking in the first place. Quitters never win, and winners never quit, right? But let’s get real here, what if someone legitimately sucks at something? Is it okay to quit then? Must they have exhausted all efforts and failed first? Is failing once enough to quit? Twice? Three times?

What if you truly hate what you’re doing? What if doing it crushes a piece of your soul with every breath? Then, is it acceptable to quit? Continue reading

Permission to Fail

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When failure rears its ugly head, it hurts, but it’s also an opportunity for growth and change. National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo took place in November. The goal, although self-imposed, was to write at least 50,000 words of a novel during the month. I started off strong, reached my daily word count, and generally kicked ass. Then I got stuck in the middle, so I skipped the middle for a while and worked on the after-the-middle part and rocked it. Then the final proof for Caroline’s Lighthouse came, which meant I spent several evenings and a whole vacation day proofing it. It was the most important free-time task I had at the time, so obviously it took priority. Then Thanksgiving happened, and the migraine, family-togetherness, and cooking took precedence.

The conclusion: I failed at my 50,000-word goal. The bright side: I have 42,566 words or roughly 172 pages which are almost an in-order narrative (there is still a bit of a gap in the story, but I’ll get there.) Another bright side: There are no real consequences other than being slightly disappointed with myself. Another notable occurrence: I gave myself permission to fail from the beginning because life gets in the way sometimes.  I don’t have a deadline for Jordan’s Sister, but I would like to release it in 2017. So why did I set myself up for failure? Because I thought it would be cool to work toward a goal even if I didn’t accomplish it.

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