Laura Petrolino

How to Fail at Writing a Post for the New Year

By: Laura Petrolino | January 2, 2014 | 
98

How To Fail at Writing a New Year's PostBy Laura Petrolino

When I found out I was the one who was going to write the very first Spin Sucks post of the year, I obviously was ridiculously excited (and nervous)!

This was a huge responsibility!!!

So, I decided I was going to write the most gosh darn inspirational New Year’s post to ever be written in the history of New Year’s posts.

My goal was to make you, our amazing Spin Sucks community, weep with joy.

And then, be so inspired and motivated to accomplish great things that for years later we would be hearing of your many amazing successes (Nobel Peace prizes, cures for cancer, teleportation devices, you name it).

And how they all stemmed from MY 2014 New Year’s post.

This was going to be amazing!!!

AMAZING!

I sat down (Ok, I didn’t sit. I stand to work, so I stood) to dig deep into my “vault o’ inspiration” and pull out something awesometastically fantastic for you all (and of course it would include many made up words such as “awesometastically”).

Bringing You an Inspirational New Year’s Post

We are talking super-sized inspiration here, folks. Take the best TEDx talk ever, add in a little Dali Lama, a dash of Abe Lincoln, a teaspoon of Vince Lombardi, then put some Peter Drucker sprinkles on top for the added business angle.

That’s what you were about to get.

But Inspiration Left

Unfortunately, I got really hungry (as I often do) and took a break to eat something. When I came back, my inspiration vault had decided to suddenly close.

I panicked! This was my big chance and now I had nothing — zip, nada, nil inspiration to share.

Trying to remain calm, I went through all the common methods I employ when needing to produce my highest quality work. I did burpees and push ups. I sang and danced around to Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff songs, I dressed up my cat and dog in several of the different ridiculous costumes I have for them. I dressed myself up in several of the ridiculous costumes I have.

Nothing.

Let’s Crowdsource!

So, at a loss for what to do next I did what any other communications professional would do. I turned to Facebook to crowdsource. I asked everyone to contribute five names of people who had changed their life during 2013 in some way, big or small.

I was so proud of myself with this idea. YES! THIS was going to be inspirational. I’d gather up all of these names and then write a post about how we all affect people’s lives everyday, whether we know it or not, and how average, ordinary people can have a huge affect on the world.

You know the drill.

But, I’m not sure if my request was just too gosh darn deep for a Sunday morning, or you all didn’t appreciate the cute picture of a baby panda I posted as a ploy for participation, but only a handful of people contributed their names.

Foiled again! Sigh, back to square one (p.s. for those that did participate, hold on to your hats because I’m not done with this idea yet).

This led me to the next obvious solution. When in doubt, Google it out! And that, folks, is precisely what I did. I typed in “New Year’s Inspiration,” and came to a page with lots of quotes. One of my favorite quotes came up from Neil Gaiman:

I hope in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Geez, thanks Neil, what are you trying to tell me here exactly? Yes, I know I’m bombing this post, but please have some compassion!

He continues:

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

You can listen to the entire speech here.

And that, folks, is what I’ll leave you with as we all journey into this fresh new year.

Like every year, 2014 is full of awesome and scary possibilities. It’s bursting with both successes and failures just waiting to be experienced. Like my intentions for this post, more often than not things won’t necessarily turn out exactly how you might have planned.

Often they turn out better. The rest of the time, they just turn out different. So go out there and fail like a champ, because in the long run, that’s probably the best thing you can do for yourself, your business, your customers, and the world in general.

And that is your official 2014 Spin Sucks pep talk! Go team, GOOOO!

About Laura Petrolino


Laura Petrolino is the director of operations at Arment Dietrich. She is also a ninja. When not working with clients, collaborating with the Arment Dietrich team, or practicing her roundkicks, you can find her walking her dog, working out, or exploring the great outdoors.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

Leave a Reply

98 Comments on "How to Fail at Writing a Post for the New Year"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
ClayMorgan
2 years 7 months ago

You quoted Neil Gaiman. Great author and in my mind, one of the greatest practitioners of the short story these days.

Happy New Year Laura!

LSSocialEngage
2 years 7 months ago

Happy New Year Laura! Kleenex in hand I was totally ready to weep with joy instead I laughed really hard. Lovely way to start off 2014. Love that you quoted Neil Gaiman. Thanks for the inspiration and I am so ready to do something!

TaraGeissinger
2 years 7 months ago

OMGosh — That’s one of my favorite quotes too. (I posted it first thing yesterday to ring in the New Year.) And I agree, it’s in the ashes of our failures that greatness often rises. Happy New Year Laura Petrolino! It’s going to be a great one!!

jasonkonopinski
2 years 7 months ago

I have a complete and total nerdcrush on Neil Gaiman. 

Have you seen the animated version of that speech? It’s so awesome. 

http://vimeo.com/67163514

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

TaraGeissinger Laura Petrolino I love that entire speech. It serves as a great reminder to me in so many ways of what I want to create (and how I view that creation). Plus I think Neil Gaiman voice is totally dreamy and just like listening to him….but I digress)

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

ClayMorgan 100% totally agree! I adore him. He is one of my top five favorite authors.

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

jasonkonopinski YES!!!! But let’s be real here, how could a collaboration of Zen Pencils and Gaiman not be awesome! (I also love their version of J.K. Rowling, among others).
I’m so glad you posted this!

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

LSSocialEngage Go get ’em tiger!!! 🙂

jasonkonopinski
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino ClayMorgan I need to reread Sandman.

jasonkonopinski
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino Bringing this over from FB and switching gears: I distinctly remember buying “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” on cassette with my own moolah as a kid. It’s probably sitting in a box at my parent’s house in Jersey. 🙂

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago
My new years started horribly for social media. I woke before the wife. Made the mistake of going to hootsuite. Saw a really stupid self serving post from Klout my in feed. Then responded by taking them to task. and then looked at their Klout Perk’s case studies to see failure after failure That made me happy. But under neath I was like WTF why did I go to HootSuite. The newspaper stories about death and destruction would be more uplifting crazy as it sounds. Then someone posted a silly blogpost about problems at Twitter. I checked it out and… Read more »
LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

jasonkonopinski LauraPetrolino ClayMorgan Have you read Ocean at the End of the Lane yet? If not, go to audible and download the version that he narrates. Amazing.

jasonkonopinski
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino jasonkonopinski ClayMorgan Oh yes. AMAZEBALLS.

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

jasonkonopinski LauraPetrolino So.much.yes.

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago

but today I saw bdorman264’s broken hand from his bobsledding accident and I was back melancholy about the year.

But YOU UPLIFTED ME LauraPetrolinothank you!

jasonkonopinski
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino You’re giving me more gift ideas. STOP.

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

Howie Goldfarb Ring and Run is a game that connects all cultures, nationalities and generations. Thank you for keeping this practice alive and well. Our society owes you for your service Howie!

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

Howie Goldfarb bdorman264 LauraPetrolino You’re welcome!!! It is my humble duty to serve 🙂 My work here is obviously done! 

And Bill, I’m quite concerned about your continuing injuries. My new year’s wish for you is a bubble suit. I looked into some bulk prices on bubble suits for @ginidietrich  after she met Toby, I think we can get a good group rate, so let me know if you are interested.

AlinaKelly
AlinaKelly
2 years 7 months ago

Dear Laura
You just failed at failing…I mean succeeded at failing… I mean…this was a GREAT post to start the year! Thanks for making me smile. 2014 is going to be terrific! Here’s to all of us failing brilliantly! Cheers!

JohnMTrader
JohnMTrader
2 years 7 months ago

I full intend to fail in 2014. I just hope I can somehow fail forward.

Great post to ring in the new year Laura, thanks. Look forward to a bright 2014!

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

AlinaKelly Hahahaha! Well you know how the old, wise saying (that I just made up) goes “the community that fails together….achieves world domination”. I can’t think of a better group of crazy people that I’d rather do it with then those of us here!

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

JohnMTrader No worries John, I’ll push you from behind, then you are guaranteed to fail forward! BOOM! Problem solved, congrats and your welcome!

biggreenpen
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino “Go out there and fail like a champ” – I’m on it! 🙂

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago
jasonkonopinskiLauraPetrolinoso just curious Jason and maybe we need to rope in ginidietrichyou have a lot of nerd crushes but they are all men. Are there no women nerds? Does Gini have to write one of those posts demanding equality for the sexes or challenge the glass nerd ceiling that seems to keep the talented Nerdettes from rising high enough for you to find them? Or maybe the Nerds just have better PR people than the Nerdettes. Obviously they hire males for media relations. So maybe men are better at this?  I will Quote Danny ‘The Hammer’ Edelman circa 1965 –… Read more »
jasonkonopinski
2 years 7 months ago

Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski LauraPetrolino ginidietrich I totally have some female nerd crushes.

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago
LauraPetrolinoTaraGeissinger I was reading a great article on the Gold Rush and how it was the source of America’s failure culture. And the lottery. So few struck gold. So many failed. In fact 99% or more failed. Yet it was a source of pride that they tried.  So go forth thou young Miners and Pan for Ye Gold and don’t ye return until thou succeed or fail. And if thou fail it is ok. Go forth and try again.  As my chosen Miner’s I grant thou all of Tallahassee for ye mining exploits. And if there be any resistance to… Read more »
Lisa Ann Schreier
Lisa Ann Schreier
2 years 7 months ago

As the Executive Director of the National Timeshare Owners Association, it was important to clarify our stance. So here it is: http://www.nationaltimeshareownersassoc.com/blog/index.php?id=71964059060

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago

jasonkonopinskiHowie GoldfarbLauraPetrolinoginidietrichahhhh but keeping them secret. Not fair! My guesses: Oprah. Jackie Collins. Yoko Ono. Miley Cyrus.

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

biggreenpen LauraPetrolino  If anyone is going to fail like a champ, it’s going to be you Paula!!!

danielghebert
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino JohnMTrader LOL!!! Best comment ever Laura 🙂 P.S. I wept with joy after reading this post, so goal accomplished 😉

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago
Howie Goldfarb LauraPetrolino TaraGeissinger That’s really interesting. Our societies distorted view on failure is really a problem and stifles both organizational innovation and growth and individual professional growth. I have the start of another post lined up about how the resistance to failure is a major problem in allowing organizations to take the steps needed for progressive change. It creates a culture that stifles many of the things that should be encouraged and a tendency to not want to take responsibility because we are conditioned to think of failure as an end vs. a beginning.  I’d love to see that article Howie if… Read more »
LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

danielghebert LauraPetrolino JohnMTrader Hahahaha! Yay! Thanks Daniel! It was the DJ Jazz Jeff and Fresh Prince video that really pushed it over right? They make me weep with joy too! 🙂

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski LauraPetrolino ginidietrich I’m pretty sure Gini and I are Jason’s two biggest female nerd crushes…..I mean obviously!?!

jasonkonopinski
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich You’re both on the list.

lkpetrolino
lkpetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

LSSocialEngage Thanks lady!!!

lkpetrolino
lkpetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

MissZippy1 Imperfect perfection is what’s hip for 2014! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

lkpetrolino
lkpetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

KatieMHutton Ahhh! Thank you so much!! Happy New Year! 🙂

RebeccaTodd
2 years 7 months ago

Excellent post! A dose of #PetroPower is just what we need to start 2014. You’ve coined what is clearly one of my new favourite sayings- “When in doubt, https://www.google.com/! ” I don’t make new years resolutions per se, but I pledge to use this phrase throughout 2014 and beyond. 

I shall fail in 2014, no doubt about that. And I shall learn, and laugh, and fail some more. Thanks for this lady!

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

RebeccaTodd Hahahaha! I honestly can’t think of a better new year’s resolution. Ambitious for sure, but if anyone can handle the responsibility of helping to make this phrase internationally legendary, it is you! 

And I love your last sentence, “learn, laugh, and fail some more…..” because that’s what makes life fun!

lkpetrolino
lkpetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

RebeccaAmyTodd Yay!!! Thank you so much! xoxoxo

ginidietrich
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolino RebeccaTodd Yesterday I received a nice note from a friend. He wished me a happy new year and then said he learned a new phrase in 2013: PetroPower. I told him to blame Laura and he said it was my fault for introducing her to all of you.

lizreusswig
2 years 7 months ago

Love it LauraPetrolino! I’m printing out this post & pasting it up in my office & bookmarking it on my phone!  A reminder that “The best laid plans of mice & men often go astray” and with the right attitude “astray” just means differently!

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

ginidietrich LauraPetrolino RebeccaTodd OMG!!!!!! This is BIG!!! This is really BIG! You know how crazy exciting this is to me! Move over ‘selfie’, PetroPower is taking your place in 2014 as the word of the year!!!!!! Woohooo!!!!!!

LauraPetrolino
2 years 7 months ago

lizreusswig LauraPetrolino For serious? I made print out status? Heck yeah, next thing you know I’ll be up on the fridge, then I’ll know I’ve made it!!! 🙂 

And how much do I love that you just quoted Of Mice and Men!! Now I can say Steinbeck made a cameo too!

Jessica Hirsch Attanasio
Jessica Hirsch Attanasio
2 years 7 months ago

I love Laura’s post, and the Gaiman quote is perfect. No attempts to be inspirational here, but I did decide it was a good time to refocus my fashion/shopping blog: http://beautifymylifeblog.com/?p=4872.

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
2 years 7 months ago

2014, the year of making mistakes and doing something. 🙂

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolinoginidietrichRebeccaToddnext time my home needs oil or my car needs gas I am going to buy some PetroPower. It is very energy efficient, supposedly inexpensive, and gets it’s energy from the sun and skittles.

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago

LauraPetrolinoHowie GoldfarbTaraGeissingerwe are lucky in some cultures failure requires us to save face either by suicide or

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 7 months ago
susancellura
susancellura
2 years 7 months ago

This is awesome, LauraPetrolino! And so very true. I actually try to teach my daughter this as she can get frustrated if something doesn’t turn out absolutely perfect the first time. Try, try again!

wpDiscuz
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]