Sometimes success feels a lot like failure.
That was the whole idea behind the young adult book I wrote titled Chasing Skye. In the story, Skye gets her dream spot on the volleyball team, only to earn the torment of one of her peers. She has to decide whether standing up for herself is worth the fight.
This story was a tough one for me to write. At first, I think I just wrote it to work through some of my own high school experiences, but then it became so much more. It became a story about the multiple forms bullying can take, about the danger of losing yourself in the eyes of others, and how high school relationships can be so, so helpful or so, so hurtful.
Each time I read through it to make revisions, I found myself getting sucked back into the story emotionally, and that wasn't always been easy since Skye’s experiences weren't always easy. I’m got to a point while writing were I had trouble letting it go.
As an author—and as a person, if I’m being honest—I tend toward perfectionism. I think if I can make myself and my work perfect at least something in the world is right. But I know it’s not like that, especially in this story with all its messy parts. Maybe the reason I had/have trouble letting it go is because I can’t make it perfect. Period.
But part of my goal as an author is to write real fiction, and that means sometimes things aren’t going to be perfect. And like life, just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it’s worth less. Sometimes it’s all our dents and scratches that make us someone with an actual story to tell.
We can use those blemishes to build a better us, a better family, and a better community. Our imperfections and how we deal with them can be so impactful.
Let your failures inspire you and others toward success.
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