That’s the famous quote about failure right? Whether Mr Edison said it or not, it’s one of those things that gets passed around, when we’re telling each other not to give up.
Edison’s never been in favor in our house, so I’ll give you a better one.
I didn’t bother to check and make sure Mr Churchill said this, either. That’s not the point.
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
Which is sort of a backwards aspiration to have, at this point. We didn’t make our Kickstarter goal, but does that count as a failure? How do you count failure in a publishing market, or in any artistic endeavor? I read something, weeks ago that I wish I could find again, where a filmmaker was talking about getting work twenty years down the pipeline over something that everyone had considered a failure when it came out.
Every day, in this business venture I get smacked by some maxim I learned writing that suddenly, inexplicably–to my thinking anyway–applies. This week’s was a sudden realization that plans and schedules are like outlines. They’re fine until you actually start moving. You can’t get attached to the outline, because once you do it’s all downhill from there. You can’t get attached to the plan. Not universally.
We’re not a twenty-year behemoth, a big juggernaut of publishing that can dig it’s wheels in and keep going in exactly the direction it started in, whether the rest of the world wants to go there or not. We’re small, and we have to be fleet of foot, we’ve got no choice. We have to grow in the directions that present themselves, and look for opportunities where we can. We have to look at the things that don’t work, and then move on to the next project.
If Churchill managed Gallipoli, I think we’re alright.
I’ll share another Churchill quote I’m much more fond of, just because I’ve got you here and I can.