Listening to Brené Brown and Sarah Lewis talking about her book The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and thSearch for Mastery was a great way to un-fog my thinking and reflect on my struggles with the term.

Sarah Lewis writes in her book, “The word failure is imperfect. Once we begin to transform it, it ceases to be that any longer. …but because once we are ready to talk about it, we often call the event something else, a learning experience, a trial, a reinvention, no longer the static concept of failure.”

And that, I feel, is why we often struggle with the term in the context of creative work and desire another word for it. It’s just not doing justice to the slate cleaning, sometimes eye-opening and liberating experience of starting over after running in circles for too long or hitting a dead-end.

Here’s to more clean slates and appreciation of blankness – “an approach to thinking about the dynamism of the creative process after failure” (Sarah Lewis) as something to embrace and not feel terrified.