Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Message about Failure for my Child

The book should be done.

Sometimes it sucks being a grown-up because grown-ups get to do the hard stuff like telling the truth even when it makes you feel shitty.

I'd like to blame the lack of the unfinished rewrite on being chronically ill or having writer's block or the fact that it's no damn fun and really stinking hard.  But those are just excuses.  Anybody can come up with a thousand reasons why they didn't finish something or couldn't do the work.

Sure, there have been days the past two months where I physically couldn't do a thing.  But not every day.  (The percentage doesn't matter because if there was even one day when I could've worked and didn't, well...you see my point.)

It would be easy to say "I've been too sick."  Much easier than admitting that I let my family and my best friend and myself down.

Much easier than saying I failed. 

When I started writing this post, I thought I was writing to other writers who struggle to keep their butts in the chair and fingers moving on the keyboard, even through the sucky parts like rewrites.  And then I thought it was to M, who has been nothing but supportive and has refrained from kicking my ass even though I'm the only one who can get us through this part, to let her know that I haven't quit on her.

Then I thought it was for myself - a call to arms, a public declaration.

All of those thoughts were wrong.

I realized I was writing to my daughter, who thinks that every mistake is unfixable and soul-killing and frightening. 

Failure is not the end unless you make the choice that it is, unless you retreat and give up, unless you take the easy way out.  It doesn't define you or break you or stop you unless you let it.

Maybe one day, in just a few years, when she screws up big (all children do) and won't listen to a word I say because she's a teenager (Lord, save me!), she'll pay attention to what I did.

Gotta go work on this rewrite.  Be back when it's done.

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