Word of the Day: Kakorrhaphiophobia


(n.) an abnormal fear of failure or defeat; from the Greek kakos (“bad, evil”); syn. atychiphobia

Everybody in L.A. fails. We just do.

—Moby, from “Creativity and Freedom to Fail”

Maria Popova of Brainpickings pertinently asks in her March 2014 review of Sarah Lewis’s insightful book The Rise, “How, then, can we transcend that mental block, that existential worry, that keeps us from the very capacity for creative crash that keeps us growing and innovating?” It’s a trepidation we all have felt, whether it edges into the realm of “abnormal” or not: the fear of failure, of not succeeding, of letting someone down, whether it’s a teacher or a friend or just yourself. Popova, through Lewis, dives into the depths of failure with frank precision that resonates. But, as Lewis and Popova note, there is such a thing as fruitful failure, which leads us to today’s feature: lend an ear to electronic music maestro Moby’s inspiring CreativeMornings talk on the importance of failure in leading a fulfilling creative life.

Sara Menuck is currently pursuing BA in English & Professional Writing at York University, Toronto, without being very professional at all. Having interned with a variety of small press publications, she currently works as a prose reader for The Winter Tangerine Review, a department editorial assistant, and, in her free time, a teacher of music to very small, adorable children. More from this author →