Friday, May 29, 2009

Fail Gloriously

I watched the Susan Boyle You Tube again today, and was just as moved as I was the first time I watched it. It also put me in mind of this quote from Lois McMaster Bujold, a paraphrasing from something one of her characters says in one of the Chalion novels.

God is not interested in perfect souls, but glorious ones.


This resonates with me in a big way, reinforced by the nearly unanimous reaction to Susan’s performance. Each of us is created to be able to do big things. Many of us are removed from the running, by circumstance, accidents, or the grim reality of unhappy lives, but for those of us who are left, for those of us who still have that possibility within us, we owe it to everyone who’s lost their chance to at least try.

Not for the prestige or for a five minute You Tube clip, but for the sheer experience of fully flexing our muscles, for dreaming and reaching big, at least once, to have faith in ourselves and our dreams.

The thing is, to have attempted something great, even if it fails, changes our internal landscapes in a way that nothing else can, so that even if we fail, we gain. Not only that, but by merely attempting, we give others the courage to try.

One of the reasons this is rolling around in my head these days is that I have this sneaking suspicion that I am going to have a Major Fail on this project I’m working on. If it doesn’t work, it will be the SPLAT! heard around the world (or at least throughout the halls of my publisher.)

But there are also some really big things I want to say about love and death and duty and honor, so big, I can’t even articulate them, except through this story. The chances I will fail are good, but there is a chance--a tiny chance--that I might not. That I will in fact, be able to say what I feel driven to say. I’ll never know if I don’t try. Epic fail, possibly, but it will be a glorious failing, not a small one.

Give yourself the gift of a few minutes this weekend and allow yourself to dream BIG, not about the affect (winning an award, reaching a list) but what you would attempt to accomplish…

9 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

I think you will pull it off beautifully. But wow, great post!

hollygee said...

That was lovely and inspiring and comforting. Thank you

Erin said...

I'm quite sure you will not fail, but it helps to know that even amazing writers like you have moments of serious self-doubt!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Great post! Thanks for the reminder...

Robin L said...

Oh trust me, Erin, doubt abounds. :-)

I am often struck by Blogger's Remorse after posting something that's not craft oriented, so I'm glad you all found it inspiring! (Erm, what was I just saying about doubt??)

dixie said...

I love your posts! I've saved one by Mayume Oda, a writer and artist, who says, "I think the creative process is not about creating something else, it's about the process itself creating who I am."

Robin L said...

Thank you, Dixie! :-)

Anonymous said...

My step-son graduated last night and the commencement speaker spoke on this theme. When I hear things repeated that many times in just a few days (jCW, here, there) it makes me think someone is trying to tell me something.

You said it well.

Sherrie Hansen from jCW

Robin L said...

I agree, Sherrie, when things are coming at you from many directions, best to listen.

Glad you stopped by!