top of page

Failing to Succeed

I’ve always stuck rigidly to rules. To me, it’s always been hard to understand that good things can happen if you don’t follow rules or that there isn’t some sort of divine punishment. As a result, I’ve always believed that there is a ‘proper’ way to do things and you will get rewarded for doing it the correct way with no shortcuts. Until recently.


Starting out on social media...

When I wrote my first book, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and so I decided that I needed to get onto social media in order to tell people that I had written it. I remember signing up for Instagram with Mark and then trying to post a story. We ended up with four of the same picture on each page and no text. We then panic googled how to delete Instagram stories. At this point, I decided that I might need to learn a bit more about Instagram.


Going back to my early beliefs, I watched tons of Instagram tutorials, tips and ‘hacks’ and tried to follow every rule, believing that if you followed all the rules you would surely be rewarded. Well, what happened was that I ended up completely scattered all over the place and sidetracked by every statistic and insight that I had access to. I became worried that my account wasn’t growing fast enough and felt that I needed to post more and more frequently, culminating in a schedule that I could not keep up with but I was too scared not to stick to. It was not fun.


Something had to give...

As this reached a crescendo, life sort of got in the way. We were having a lot of problems having a second baby and these two aspects became impossible to focus on simultaneously (more on this at a later date) so one day, I just stopped posting entirely. By this point, I had become so sidetracked from my original goal of releasing a children’s book that I was posting multiple illustrations a week to a lower standard than I believed I should in order to maintain my schedule and I had even started an Etsy shop with cards and framed pictures. A great thing to do, but nothing to do with being a children’s author, which kind of fell by the wayside. Surprisingly, I have only just realised this in recent months.


Why it was worth it...

Having come away from social media for a couple of years, then going on publishing courses, I have had time to reflect on the journey so far (as every teacher will know – it’s all about self-reflection!) And do you know what? I’m actually glad of all the mistakes I made the first time and I think I needed to go through that in order to do things a little bit better this time around. At work, I have been on lots of metacognition and resilience courses and have taught these ideas to the children and the main idea is that failing is an absolute necessity in order to learn and get better. I still don’t really know a lot about what works on social media and what I should or shouldn’t be posting but I do know how I should feel about it. So, this time, I won’t be hung up on numbers and statistics. I want to be writing about what I think is fun and important and remain focused on the ultimate goal of writing really great children’s books. No doubt I will make lots of new mistakes but this time I will know that I am not failing to succeed but that I am failing in order to succeed.

66 views2 comments
bottom of page