How to write about stuff that goes wrong

You succeed by trial and error. Practice and fail and practice some more. And yet when reading about business it would be easy to think that every job or project was a success from start to finish.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

There are good reasons to write about failures and struggles, as I explain in this post but it might feel counterintuitive or even uncomfortable.

So here are some ways to help you feel comfortable writing about the not so successful stuff so that you can lift the lid on a whole swathe of new content and business insight.

First of all think of failing as just part of the learning process.

The star basketball player misses a lot of hoops to get that one winning shot. A lot of work went into getting that winning shot. A lot of mistakes, a lot of adjustments and a lot of training to get better.

Or to put it another way, you don’t give up when something doesn’t go to plan, you learn from the experience and try something different or new.

Building knowledge and expertise

How many different things did you try to get the winning formula? What about refining and adjusting as an ongoing process?

Each time something doesn’t completely work it builds your knowledge and expertise.

You are a problem solver, you are adaptable, you find solutions and are constantly developing and getting better.

This is all content gold and it’s all in how you frame it.

Here are some examples:

  • What are the positives that have come out of a difficult or challenging situation or something that when wrong?
  • When something failed or went wrong how did it change your approach or thinking?
  • If an original idea proved to be too problematic to work, did it lead to a better solution?
  • What different things did you try before you succeeded?
  • How did you settle on a particular solution – and reject the rest?
  • What was the lightbulb moment when the answer to something you’d been struggling with suddenly became clear?
  • What did you personally learn from a difficult situation and how has that changed your approach?

Writing about failure is like showing your workings out and it helps potential clients get to know you and how you use your expertise and skills to solve problems or come up with the best solutions.

It will give you so many more content ideas and it helps your content stand out from the crowd.

Think about what would make you stop and read an article.

If you saw the line: ‘We had to fail 3 times before we were successful’, it would grab your attention wouldn’t it?

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