Accepting Failure – #8 (Un)Common Writing Strategies

by- Tom Kubrak

You had a bad day…now don’t make it worse.

The deadline for that project you’ve been working on for that client has arrived; and you haven’t completed it yet. Now you have to face the consequences of having failed to meet the deadline and own up to your failure. You should probably call your client. Or…you can make an excuse for it. Choose the ladder.

Contacting Your Client

In that conversation it’s crucial that you be honest. No one likes someone who makes excuses for every little thing that goes wrong. In the long run, no matter if they’re upset, they will respect you more if you’re honest and just say “I screwed up but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to fix it.”

Doesn’t that sound better than, “Hey traffic was pretty bad the last few days and I just didn’t have the time to work on it.” It’s your choice though.

Get Some Rest

Going back to the last strategy “Cut Off Times,” I mentioned this point of getting some rest. Don’t go into the next day tired, groggy and unable to work on the projects you’re supposed to. 

Accept the fact that you had a bad day, tell yourself you’re going to work a little harder tomorrow, and GO TO BED. It’s a little easier said than done for some people who can’t “Accept Failure” and have to complete the task; but lets face it, you shouldn’t have gone out for that happy-hour drink with your old high school buddy then. 

Now, if you don’t go to bed you’ll make, not only today a failure, but tomorrow too.

Don’t Hide It 

People will find out one way or another. Why not be the first one to tell about YOUR screw up and own up to it. 

Publishers and Editors 

When you’re a writer, your publisher and editor/s need you to keep them posted and they demand honesty in the process. If not; they could be in trouble with the whole company and have to kill the entire project.

With that being said, if you’re going to be late on a deadline you must tell them. If you fail to tell them, you’re late on sending them the draft you told them would be in their inbox that day, could mean that that client is no longer your client. Because you were stubborn and thought you were going to finish it when in reality you should have let them know days ago that you weren’t on track to meet the deadline.

Let’s say you did finish it though… “was it at the quality your client needed or did it look like a “Rush Job?”

*A Rush Job is a project that someone clearly did not put the time and energy into a certain project that needed more love and time.

How to Avoid Failing to Reach a Deadline

  1. Before setting the deadline set realistic expectations. No one likes to read a clear cut “Rush Job.”
  1. Pace yourself -don’t try and knock it all out in one day. Mrk out each day and block aout a time frame stating clearly what you’re going to be doing.
  1. Remind yourself of that deadline. Whether it’s a phone reminder or a sticky note, don’t lose track of it; so you can keep your pace and keep also that “sense of urgency” in your mind.

NO matter how hard you try though, some life circumstances might get in the way or you simply just…failed. It’s your job as a man or woman to admit that. Say it, “I failed.”

Whether it’s a personal project or a client project. It can actually be extremely empowering; because instead of wallowing in your misery for days, weeks, months or even years, you can now work on fixing it or moving on completely. 

Regardless, when you didn’t complete the mission that’s on you. Now fix it…the right way.

You have to be able to accept failure to get better. – Lebron James

By- Tom Kubrak


IG & TWTR @tomkubrak

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s