Author Sara Zarr: Finding Inspiration in Failure

Author Sara Zarr has big ideas. Her books tackle huge themes with beautiful, realistic prose that cuts to the heart of her characters. Last week on author Nova Ren Suma’s blog, Zarr posted about what inspires her to write. 


You’d think she might be inspired by the fact that her first novel (Story of a Girl) was a nominee for the National Book Award, or that her fifth and most recent novel (How to Save a Life) was just named to the Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2011 list. 

Surprisingly, success isn’t what drives Sara Zarr to write. 

What’s the big idea that does inspire her?

Failure.

Zarr writes: 

I’m reminded that the point of creating isn’t control. 

The point isn’t saving yourself from embarrassment... 

The point isn’t avoiding failure.

We can’t. It’s inevitable. Those who finish what they start persevere through it, blow gently on those embers, tend to that first love...

Read her entire post here. Whether you’re creating books, balance sheets, or legal briefs, it’s a great way to start your week.

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less