The Only Way to Guarantee Failure is to Never Try

Road blur

No time to stop. (shared via flickr)

I cannot see.

The world around me is a blur, flashing by at high speed—my glasses (and contacts) left miles behind.

Or I’m in the time-traveling phone booth from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, unsure of where I am at any given moment of time.

In three weeks I’ve:

Life is a time traveling blur.

Life is time-traveling blur, only it cannot go backwards–unlike this most excellent phone booth.

  • Helped move my mother-in-law,
  • Driven to the beach,
  • Met with teachers,
  • Shadowed classrooms,
  • Lost electrical power twice,
  • Attempt de-sandification of my van,
  • Done more laundry than you can possibly imagine,
  • Replaced a refrigerator,
  • Driven to karate practices,
  • Had my 9th wedding anniversary,
  • Packed for a trip,
  • Avoided causing a massive accident on I-35 when my tire blew,
  • Spent a weekend at the Dallas-Fort Worth Writer’s Conference,
  • Pitched to an agent,
  • Asked for pages by aforementioned agent,
  • Learned being not-normal is perfectly normal if placed in the right group of people,
  • Hugged, Zumba’d, got naked, and roomed with a fryber (that means a cyberspace aka internet friend, G-ma) I’d never met in person,
  • Learned guacamole (which I normally detest) can taste good,
  • Unpacked and repacked for another trip,
  • Developed a mean sinus headache that despises car rides as much as I used to hate guacamole,
  • Accrued more knowledge about writing in two days than the last 25 years of my life,
  • Driven/ridden in a car for over 1300 miles (just in the last five days),
  • Been enlightened to the joy a parent has when children are old enough to watch DVDs in the car using headsets.
  • Gone bike riding with an almost flat tire.

The world is blurred.

Time runs by, refusing to slow.

I stand, blind, leaning over a chasm.

I cannot see it, only hear it. The chasm echoes as The Inner Voice screams at me.

“You suck!”

“You can’t write!”

“No one will ever want to read this.”

“You will never make the time needed to succeed.”

“You will fail!”

“The only two valid excuses for not writing are coma and death.”

I inhale the world speeding by—it tastes different—changed from the week before.

I smile.

I jump.

Sometimes, you just have to jump.

You can’t publish, if you never write. You can’t write, if you never leap.

I cannot see the other side.

I don’t care, because I know the truth.

The only way to guarantee failure is to never try.

I might land—safe on solid ground.

I might only think I have—only to have the ground crumble beneath me.

I might fall straight into the chasm and have to fight my way back.

But it will no longer hold me prisoner—trapped in the safety of excuses trying to hide failure’s certainty.

And maybe, just maybe, I will grow wings and soar.

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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19 Responses to The Only Way to Guarantee Failure is to Never Try

  1. Kate says:

    The creative forces I admire most all take risks and go for what they want. Excited for you about the pitching the agent and then being asked for pages. Way to go. You’re definitely at a talent and I would not be surprised in the least to see one of your titles on the NY Bestseller’s List some day.

  2. Katie says:

    Good luck! Glad you decided to give it a go. (And glad you finally broke down and got a new fridge. It’s hard to be more stubborn than a broken appliance!).

    • You’re right–outlasting a dying appliance is virtually impossible. I made it another year, until the heat became too much for the compressor.

      It’s weird having a freezer that freezes again.

      And I miss my old one.

      The true test will come when I make a massive grocery run and see how well it all fits…

  3. Pingback: Go 4 It | kateschannel

  4. You. Can. Do. This. I believe in you and am proud to call you my friend.

  5. And the only way we learn ANYTHING is by failing. How to infants learn to walk? By falling.


  6. Paige Morgan says:

    I KNOW you can do this! Soar so the rest of us might one day be brave enough to follow!

  7. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    What a great post, Kelly! So glad you took the leap at the conference and pitched. I’m excited for you. Keep finding your courage. We’re all here to catch you.

  8. bobbijaye says:

    I’ve been telling you this for years. You just don’t trust me because you think I’m biased.

    But you are amazing and stubborn and wonderful, and I KNOW you will fly. Sooner or later, we both will.

    A particularly favorite song lyric for you tonight:

    When you’re soaring through the air, I’ll be your solid ground.
    Take every chance you dare, I’ll still be there, when you come back down.
    Angel you were born to fly, and if you get too high, I’ll catch you if you fall.

    I’m delirious. We drove to Memphis today. But I love you K.

  9. I was all set to ask you about how karate was going but OH MY GOODNESS the pitch? the pages?

    This. Is. Huge.

    Can you hear me smiling from here?
    It’s that big.

    Keeping all my fingers crossed for you.
    And maybe toes, too.

  10. Also, how IS karate going? 😉

  11. So in other words you’ve been living life to it’s fullest!

  12. So I see I missed this post. I’m glad you are back in the saddle. I hope you find time to take your craft seriously. I’m almost done with draft 1 of my WIP. I hate that damn almost. It keeps me up at night. But -like Leanne said – you’ve got to remember the babies. They fall a billion times so they can walk. They keep getting up. Think of that tenacity! Think of Tackler on his bike! He finally did it. You. Can. Too. It’s an endurance game. How tough are you?

    I want to know what you got from DFW? Did you meet James Rollins? And other WANAs?

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