How not to fail.

I did write yesterday, trying to catch up with my lag in the Story-a-Day challenge, but I must have hit on some good material because I managed almost 2,000 words without an end in sight. Now, though, I am behind in my attempts. Still no story for the missed day on the 10th May, and a half written one for yesterday, and still yet to write today’s. At the moment it seems like I might fall short of my goal.

While a part of me is hugely disappointed in myself, clamouring at me to push through and just get things done at the expense of my health, my friends, my job, another part of me is proud of the writing I have done so far, of trying to accomplish writing a story for each day in May – even if I don’t end up with thirty-one complete narratives at the end of the month. While I am afraid of failure, the perfectionist in the back of my mind mocking me for not being ‘good enough’ to achieve, the very fact that I am at least trying is something admirable. There are others out there who would not consider such a challenge, who would not even make it this far. Yet here I am, behind but not defeated, still wanting to try, to believe in myself and the desire I have to write.

What am I learning about myself? That providing the winds are with me, and I can sail smoothly on, my writing comes easily and I revel in the joy it brings. Yet, if the weather turns sour, if I stumble on the way, I immediately turn in on myself and favour hiding, ignoring the progress already made simply because I can no longer see the finish line ahead. It’s not easy to write when your mind is whispering of defeat with every new word written. But I will do it, because what else is there to do? Stop? And if I do, what then? I am left with that voice in my head to remind me that although I tried, yes I tried, I failed anyway.

How much effort does it take to say you really tried? A half-hearted, ditch attempt will always leave you wondering. Perhaps that is the beauty of my tag line – Is it better to say I tried and failed, than never to have tried at all? – because as long as you are trying you can not fail. It is only when you cease to make the effort that failure grasps you.

 

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