This was a fabulous thing to witness. For one, people actually wrote about fear and failure in honor of my damn booky thing. Which is nice because — even though I have a lot to say about failure — I didn’t want to have to report on my failure to instill failure in others. So I’m sorry to say that the failure experiment was a success.
What I loved about the results is that everyone who participated was true to their bloggy voice, but also appropriately messy and honest and real and each person stretched for this challenge. So thank you for that. If I were cooler at social media, I would’ve come up with some sort of hashtag for twitter… What dya think? #writefail? #fearfailure? #yuvisucks?
Without any more stalling, here it is, the beautiful list of people who successfully talked about fear & failure (in order of when they were posted). Please let me know if I unintentionally missed anyone — busy month!…
Fear & Failure Successes
Kristen Forbes: “THE (SEMI-) GREAT FEAR & FAILURE EXPERIMENT OF 2012”. Hot damn. You should follow her blog on any given week. She writes so openly and honestly about fear and failure and grief and loss and joy and friendship and love and heartbreak. So it’s not a surprise that she took on this challenge. But even so, what she wrote was beautiful and honest and real. Full of reflection while still full of unanswered questions. She also talks through how she could’ve taken the easy road with this post. But she didn’t. Go read it. (And I love the fact that she has a blog tag called “argh”.)
Jeremy Greenawalt: “Fear & Failure in Dallas”. I love how Jeremy starts this one talking about how he doesn’t usually care for writing challenges. I’m the same way. But my hope was that this challenge was quirky and deep enough to inspire people like Jeremy. I also appreciate how Jeremy walks through the easier ones before landing on a bigger, deeper way to approach this. He also diagrams his roller coaster ride. Check it out.
Erik Hess: “Fear & Failure”. Erik tells a hell of a story about fear and how it relates to both failure and success. Along the way, you get a fear-filled account of landing a jet on an aircraft carrier. But even more powerful is how Erik analyzes where his fear comes from. Some fascinating complexity to this fear. Read it.
Erin Feldman: “When I Have Fears”. Erin does a beautiful job of walking us through fear as it relates to writing (and not writing) poetry. She lands on some gems like, “every failed poem is necessary to a successful one.” Also, a really effective use of the second person to tell the story.
Mike Vardy: “Free Failing”. It’s not just that Mike compared me to Blake Lively (sort of), but also that Mike tells a deeply honest account of where things are going (or not going) according to plan in his life. I can relate to many of these things myself. Real humility here.
Jason Runnels: “Yuvi’s Zalkow’s Fear & Failure Experiment”. Jason once again is able to effectively blend his Rubik’s cube / puzzle stories into a metaphor for writing and for life. And this time, he takes this metaphor deep into the realm of a fear of failure. Nicely done.
Lisa Ahn: “What’s the Worst that Could Happen?”. Lisa is recovering from a concussion and she is letting her mind play scary worst-case-scenario games. Both funny and powerful to read this account. “In stories, ‘the worst’ makes for interesting reading. In life, it mostly means staying up past midnight wondering what disease could make the dog lose his hair like that.”
Michael Schecter: “You Suck”. Who better to talk about sucking than Michael Schechter? He wrote the book on sucking. Or at least he should. And he probably will some day. He seriously does talk wonderfully about sucking, and the act of sucking less. It is always refreshing the way he approaches personal challenges with such humility. In this case, he even came up with a manifesto, of sorts (with the help of the fabulous Todd Chandler).
So there are also some people who didn’t formally write a blog post about fear and failure but did some fabulous things in the same realm.
Laura Stanfill: “It’s Rejection Week!”. Not only did Laura interview me on her blog, and spread the word about my book, and give me great ideas about how to get the word out about my book amidst her own blogging and novel writing, but she also had a rejection week on her blog. Keep your eyes open for a writer interview book (Seven Questions) she has in the works. For more information, check out Announcing My Secret Project.
Christi Krug: “Yuvi Zalkow, Humility and Rain Bonnets”. Only Christi Krug can connect humility to rain bonnets. And in case you want more humility from her, here is one she wrote a few months ago about awkward hugs: Me and That Loudmouth.
Thank you all for sharing. I’m honored that some of you took this on and am inspired by the results. Astute readers will notice that I haven’t yet posted officially on fear and failure. I hope to post more when I fail my way through the book tour. Until then: I’m sorry.