Hello and welcome to week 2 of Contemplation, where we answer a prompt from my Kikki.K A Sentence A Day journal.


Please join in and tag your post Contemplation and use the title “Contemplation – Week 2” and the badge above, if the mood strikes you. Write something heartfelt, funny, silly, or real – anything that you think of when you read the prompt (even a photo instead if you prefer) and link back to this post so that I can read your response and I’ll also pop a link to your post at the bottom of this one.

Our prompt for this week:

What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?

This prompt is a daunting one. It’s hard to admit out loud something that is important to you when you aren’t sure if you will succeed.

I was a research scientist for 5 years, and have been in scientific sales for almost 11 years (that seems like so long when I actually write it down!). In the last few years, I’ve taken up photography and writing and I have never loved doing anything more than these things.

If I could be assured that starting a business based in photography and writing would not fail, then I would jump into it in a heartbeat.

However, I think that being afraid of failure is failure in itself. I will never succeed in that business if I don’t actually start that business, right? How do any of us change or grow or learn if we don’t make a start and try something new or different.

For me, moving cities also means starting something new. This interstate move was a huge deal. Once I had made the decision, the ball started rolling and it seemed almost impossible to stop it, even if I wanted to. I was speaking with a friend recently about how I had been feeling a little unmotivated on the creative front lately. I wanted to go out shooting and I wanted to write, but I couldn’t seem to bring myself to get started. She said to me – you’ve just done this huge thing, moving interstate. It’s something that consumes you, consumes your time, your concentration, your life.

And it’s like a moving train, staying its course and bringing me along with it. There was so much to do – prepping my house for sale, all of those open homes, selling the house, figuring out what furniture to keep, selling items I didn’t need, donating things to charity, finding a new place to live, paying mortgage and rent while waiting for the house to sell. And doing all of that outside of work hours!

So now, I’m moved. The house is sold. It’s all done. Work is very busy and our new office is up and running. And now it’s hard to get started again on the creative side. It’s weird, because it’s what I want to be doing, but I’m having trouble starting. I didn’t think I was afraid of failing, but maybe I am?

I think I’m ready now, and this feature/challenge is part of it. While the journal asks for just a sentence a day, I want to dive back into writing so I’m enjoying giving these prompts more substance that just a single sentence.

Anyway, it’s time to really get started now, regardless of what might happen.

Here goes nothing!

x desleyjane


We’ve had some fabulous responses so far, I am so pleased with the impact of this prompt. Everyone has been so open and reflective, please visit these wonderful posts:


Lucile de Godoy – Bridging Lacunas

Julie Powell – Photographer and Graphic Artist

Disperser Tracks

Amy Sampson – Snapshots, Snippets and Scribbles

Inidna – Snippets of a Panda Life


Posted by:desleyjane

photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

35 replies on “Contemplation 2 – Success or Failure

  1. I almost hesitate to comment, and do so stressing I mean no disrespect.

    I think that should read “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

    It’s not an attempt if you know you can’t fail.

    As for your love of writing and photography, we run parallel paths . . . and now that I’m retired, I’m trying to make a go at this writing thing (fiction). There’s no big secret to doing it . . . you write, and write, and write some more. When you write something you like, look for a corresponding market and submit it.

    The thing with writing is that it’s 99% perseverance. It’s not uncommon for writers to accumulate hundreds of rejections before they make their first sale . . . and then, the second sale is not guaranteed. And I’m talking successful writers.

    And, you have to love it because the vast majority of writers don’t make enough to quit their day jobs.

    As for photography, I see that as an even bigger challenge than writing. I don’t mean the doing it; I mean the selling it. But here’s the thing . . . I don’t think I want my photography to ever be a job. It’s a hobby, I enjoy it, and fear if it becomes a job, I might not enjoy it as much.

    Not so with writing. I’m always going to enjoy writing, especially if I get paid for it.

    As for what I would do if I knew I could not fail, I would become a billionaire. Billionaire jobs are hard to get, and most people fail at them because you have to be an A-1 Prime Insensitive Unscrupulous Bastard to succeed. BUT, if I was guaranteed success, I could remain the semi-nice guy that I think I am.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I forgot to mention . . . half the incentive of doing anything is the challenge of it (personal opinion – could be some people prefer no challenge at all).

      Would there be any satisfaction to doing something you knew you could not fail at? Would you put your maximum effort into it if you knew that it didn’t matter? Would you feel any sense of accomplishment if you knew it was a sure thing?

      . . . although, I think I would still go for the billionaire thing, and drown my lack of accomplishment with gobs of money.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Let me know if you make that billionaire thing work – I’d be a fabulous extremely-well-paid assistant. Definitely more satisfaction in a challenge, bring it on I say! Well…as soon as I get motivated. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Well as long as you stay the same on the inside!
      Absolutely I agree it should read “what would you do” but alas I’m copying directly from the journal. Actually I’m surprised I didn’t pick up on that as I’m usually quite annoyed by those sorts of things.
      I hear you on the photography-as-a-job issue. Plus both writing and photography are both so hugely competitive. The trick is to come up with something different – working on it 😉😉


  2. This is a hard one Desley! I meant to do last week’s too but got sidetracked, so I’ll have a think and get back to you! I think you have answered this really well and i enjoyed your post (as always). All the best with your challenge. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, isn’t it? Thanks so much, I appreciate that. It’s scary putting yourself out there, but it’s also quite fun!! Would love to read your take on this if you get time! Thanks again X.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve achieved something huge with your interstate move, so take time to settle and your creative side will return with increased enthusiasm. Just enjoy your new place, new space, new phase of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is too hard to even contemplate at the end of a busy day with three days before I leave home. I almost envy you packing up everything except the discards and moving permanently. Not trying to predict the needs of a year! I’m impressed that you’re sharing your contemplation.Thank you. I look forward to the day when writing and photography are your business.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Meg. I look forward to that day too, won’t it be marvellous?! Oh how exciting, just a few more days til you take off and see the family. Have you started packing? Thanks again.


  5. Hi DJ! This is a tough one. I felt like going for a photo, taking the easy way out…
    But you’ve been so brave and inspirational, so I can’t do that.
    I agree with most of what has been said above and fully understand your reflection and doubts. Sometimes we don’t see that we are already ‘doing’ something towards realizing our dreams, as we need to see it concretely in front of us. But my humble opinion is that you’re already taking steps to make it happen. To be aware of it is in itself a huge step, and most people go through life unhappy, not finding out what their passions are. You know your answer already. You started your blog and you are shooting and writing, and getting better every day.
    You’re already on the path of transformation.
    Failure? The most overstated and misunderstood word. Don’t take it too seriously. You’re a scientist, so ask failure to prove itself why it isn’t good to fail. Is failure agreeing with that? Nope. As Disperser said above, one may not make an effort if not challenged to get, to fight and to improve something. And failure is both a teacher and a compass.
    Relax, keep investing in your passions and it will bring you where you want.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Lucile, I so appreciate your words here. You’re absolutely right, I forgot about that part – figuring out what you want to do, what your passion is! Don’t worry, I’m not taking it too seriously, I’m going with the flow 😊😉 Thank you again, looking forward to your contemplations. Xx


  6. Hi dj, I’m so glad you’re writing and shooting again. As for your prompt, I started a music blog (a different one, not on wordpress) 7 years ago. I was extremely intimidated because I was reading so many music blogs daily that I never thought I could write one myself. I recently editied my About page to briefly tell this story but to be concise, I met a prominent music blogger who encouraged me to start my own blog and then I did it. I’m so happy I did! I’ve met lovely bloggers like you and am still surprised when I see people are actually reading my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you JillyP. You are a great writer, very engaging, you tell a story without making it sound like you’re telling us. You bring us along with you. I really enjoy reading your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “The fear of failure is failure in itself.”

    Love this, Desley. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own next move as I prepare to move back to the United States in about a month; a big question I had while making my decision to come back earlier than anticipated (after one semester, rather than one year) was if I was failing myself by leaving Thailand–but then I realized that I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish here. I’ve lived abroad, I’ve tried my hand at teaching, I’ve tested myself in so many ways. I moved to a completely different country by myself and have been living here on my own for over five months–and that’s pretty amazing. I would be failing myself if my fear of diverting from my original plan kept me from following my heart into the future.

    I also completely understand where you’re coming from with feeling a lack of creativity after a big life change. I’v only recently been able to focus on my quieter more creative side–reading and personal writing, mainly–because I’ve been so overwhelmed with adjusting to life in Thailand and just living here.

    I hope all is well for you in your new home. It seems it’s been way too long since I’ve said hi.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow only a month to go! You have indeed accomplished so much, I am SO proud of you. I’ve missed you a lot and can’t wait to hear more from you. You’ve done so much more than a lot of people your age. And indeed older.
      I think we have both been away from our creative side simply because of the sheer immensity of what we’ve been going through – your huge trip to Thailand, my pretty-much-permanent move interstate and away from family. My guess is that when you get home, you will have so much to write about. I can’t wait to hear about what you have planned next. So exciting Britta – you are set to soar.
      All is well here thank you and thank you for coming over and reading and commenting so beautifully. I’m settling in well and just working on that balance between work and walking Gidget and trying to find creative-me time. The good news is that I’m happy! I hope you are too X.


  8. Definite burn out of the senses with all the exhausting moving over the past 6? months. Your creative side is certainly surfacing again. WP is a great platform to hone your skills and I love reading and seeing your photos, so keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes PP burnout exactly. This all started in October last year. I am very happy to be here in WP and very happy to be making my way back into the world here. Thank you so much for your comments. X


  9. It’s all so hard some days isn’t? I wanted to write, but I fear I am not really very good, I once attempted to write a novel, I even have a private wordpress site (no one can see) with a few chapters, but I have not written for ages. But I do love photography, so I’ll stick with that. Sometimes it’s the fear of failing that prevents us from moving forward, deer in headlights kind of stuck, but it is often the fear of being mediocre or just OK which is more compelling than failing; or maybe that’s just me. And yes I will drag you out shooting more if needs be! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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