Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lots and lots of mistakes


I normally delete or at least warehouse posts like this, because I think they're too depressing and someone might actually read them. Maybe I'll delete or warehouse this one, too. I was rifling through some files, paper files I mean, ones written on paper and filed in file folders, and I realized how much of my work had come to absolutely nothing. Almost every file represented a failed attempt - a failed novel, a failed first draft of a novel, a failed attempt to get an agent (lots of those!), and so many rejections, some of them quite snide, that it made my head spin. And squeaking through, the smallest fraction of so-called successes which ended up being (surprise!) miserable failures after all.

I tell myself, OK, it's not in the cards. Don't bash your head. But I have set myself up this way. "Something" does not want me to succeed, in spite of a monster amount of effort over 30-some years. Everyone, if this is pointed out, points at me. "I" am the reason. I do this "wrong", I am "too negative" or just have the wrong energy.

I hate those pieces that say, oh, you have to embrace failure! Without failure you can have no success! There's no such thing as a mistake! OK then: having an affair; driving drunk; hitting your kid - these are extreme examples, but they're mistakes, aren't they? Are they really "okay" and a good thing for learning? How about the minor stuff, losing a file, losing a client, losing your mind? Do you really think for one minute you will be taken back at work after a mental breakdown of any sort? Do you? That's not what I heard. No, not at all.

Make mistakes, yes, sure. But don't be me. And keep in mind that no one "has your back".


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