I'd like to quote them all: Diana Athill on success in later life after a loss of self-confidence at what should have been her prime; Margaret Atwood on learning from the setbacks; Julian Barnes on misjudging others' lives as failures; Anne Enright on success and failure as both illusionary and real; Will Self in a similar vein on the unreliability of both; and Lionel Shriver on the long apprenticeship of failure and the notion of "giving up well". But you may find other things to highlight, or you may agree with many of the commenters on the webpage, that these successful authors had no right to moan. Having restricted myself to one quote, it's Howard Jacobson's piece that speaks the most to me (must go back and have another attempt at one of his novels):
Art is made by those who consider themselves to have failed at whatever isn't art. And of course it is loved as consolation, or a call to
arms, by those who feel the same. One of the reasons there seem to be fewer readers for literature today than there were yesterday is that the
concept of failure has been outlawed. If we are all beautiful, all clever, all happy, all successes in our way, what do we want with the language of the dispossessed?
Meanwhile, since my promised glut of fresh June stories are as tardy as the strawberries my garden, here's an old one on winning and losing that was due a revival. Enjoy!