Are Your Writing Scars Holding You Back?

Today’s blog post came about from something I heard Russell Brunson, (he of ClickFunnel fame), mention on an episode of his Marketing Secrets podcast the other day.

On the episode he said that a lot of entrepreneurs suffer from scarring they get from business failures. One moment they’re on top of the world, the next they’re back at the bottom. And they never return to those dizzying heights again. 

You probably know people like that in the offline world. They have a really successful local business and seem like they’ve got the world at their feet, and then for whatever reason, the rug’s pulled out from under them and they take a dive.

They never get back to the place they once were. They shuffle around town, a shadow of their former self and are always remembered as the ‘that guy/gal’ who had it all. 

If you’ve got a passing interest you wonder why they don’t do it again.  They’ve got the contacts, the experience and a great work ethic, surely having all those things will get them back to the top again. But they never do.

This, as Russell puts it, is because they’ve lost all confidence in themselves and think the whole world can see their failure scars. People have seen the ‘Closing down sale’ sign on the door, the news clipping about their bankruptcy, or heard the story that they stretched themselves further than they were capable. 

And like wearing a sandwich board declaring the end of the world, they walk through life thinking that all of that is on show.

But it’s not just business owners and entrepreneurs that suffer from scarring, I’d add writers to that mix too.

There’s many a writer who started off with a successful book, or series, only to have a flop and walk away never to write again.

They lose confidence in themselves as a writer. They see themselves as a one-book writer.  And they think the world and its cousin can see their failure scars.

  • They’ve got the spouse or partner they feel they let down.
  • The family members that were excited by their success who can’t brag about them anymore.
  • The money that was lost on book promotion.
  • And the weak book reviews and comments left on a book page.

Everywhere they look, there’re reminders of the failure that they are now. And when you’re a writer that’s publicly fallen off the horse, it’s easier to carry on on foot than try to climb back in the saddle.

When you look at life through that lens of failure, you’ll find enough evidence to back it up.  But part of being a writer is learning to accept defeat and failure. It comes with the territory.

I’ve had many books that tanked, had courses that no one bought, and wrote blog posts that appealed to no one.

If we all knew what was ahead for us, we’d all like to quit when we’re at the top. Always being remembered as the World Champ, than the one that was counted out on the canvas in the  first round.

But none of us do. We write, we fail, we get up and do it over again. This blog post mightn’t get more than the sound of crickets or I might see some blog comments below.  I won’t know until I hit publish.

But when I do I know those failure scars are there, but time will pass and I’ll be the only one that’ll remember them. Same goes for you. You can lie on the canvas or you can get up and stand for another round.

Time passes, people forget, and who knows, maybe your next success will come on the back of your biggest failure.

But you’ll never know if you don’t stay in the game.