I’ve done this one literally as well as metaphorically. Back in April, I fell at the ballpark and scraped myself up pretty badly. The worst part was how I fell. I fell up the steps of the dugout. I’ve never heard of anyone doing that, but I managed to. I had gone into the dugout to leave some stuff for my husband as he was helping with our son’s team. On my way out, I tripped on one of the steps and went sprawling upwards much to my humiliation. It took a couple of weeks before I stopped feeling so bruised and icky and for my fingers to un jam themselves. I also had to replace my eyeglasses as a result of this incident.
This got me to thinking on how we all fall on our face metaphorically. There’s not a one of us who hasn’t failed at something, myself included. In fact, I have failed at more things than I can count. Why is it hard to admit to failure? For me, I think it’s because succeeding is so emphasized in our culture. Doing something for the sheer fact of doing it is not recognized at all. Even when I’ve told people I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month for the last three years, the questions from those who are not writers usually consist of whether I intend to publish or not. While I do have the eventual goal of publication, the fact that I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days is not celebrated as the achievement that it is.
I liked what Dani Shapiro had to say about falling on your face in writing.
“My internal life as a writer has been a constant battle with the small, whispering voice (well, sometimes it shouts) that tells me I can’t do it. This time, the voice taunts me, you will fall flat on your face.”
I know, as a writer, I will have plenty of rejections, and that’s okay. Putting words down on paper or on the screen is a big achievement for me in and of itself.