Courage to fail

I have not written in quite a while. I have taken up my pen many times, jotted quick notes to myself of topics or turns of phrase, or just stared at the empty page, as if I was not sure what its intentions were. But nothing has emerged whole or nearly so, nothing has gotten done, and certainly nothing has seen the light of day.

All of which is typically disheartening for this writer. But right now I feel, if not precisely heartened, at least largely unfazed by the current drought that has afflicted my prosaic fields. Perhaps I am finally feeling enough confidence in myself to not despair at every bad day, or week or month, or season. Perhaps I am sure enough of my worth to fail by omission and not miss a beat.

The next step is to grow bold enough to fail by commission: to write without perfection, to forge ahead and produce words upon the page, no matter my dissatisfaction with each word that drips from my pen. I need the courage to write badly, so that I can grow strong enough to write well.

One thought on “Courage to fail

  1. You’re on the right track — the only thing that will make you a good writer is giving yourself permission to write badly — and the PRACTICE of bad writing will teach you what is good.

    That’s what worked for me, anyway.

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