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.

1 Comment

  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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