Fear Of Failure

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Lyrics from "Black Star" by David Bowie
One of the hardest things about being an artist is putting your soul on the line to be scrutinized and criticized. When I began my career this felt a little less risky than it does today; with the wonder of the Internet, came a lot more vulnerability for the artist. My parents taught me to express myself without censorship or judgment and this philosophy carried me through for many years.  I published erotica when I'd been known for YA; a memoir about my first year as a mom when fiction was expected; poetry when my heart cried out for it and an adult psychological thriller that upset many of my readers but reflected my state of mind at the time. It's still effortless for me to encourage my students to be fearless but I find myself needing to take my own advice more and more. That is why Bowie's words, quoted on my Facebook page, meant so much:

"Never mind the stares. If I'm going to do something that could be provocative or artistically relevant, I have to be prepared to put myself in a place where I feel unsafe, not completely in control. I have no fear of failure whatsoever, because often out of that uncertainty something is salvaged, something that is worthwhile comes about. There is no progress without failure. And each failure is a lesson learned. Unnecessary failures are the ones where an artist tries to second guess an audience's taste, and little comes out of that situation except a kind of inward humiliation."-- David Bowie

Here's to moving forth with courage and integrity and supporting each other as we do so!