Nonfiction: Nothing is failure

I looked at old journals from last November, soon after I’d made that long list of ideas. Because that failed as a book-writing technique, I haven’t wanted to revisit it. Maybe I should. I mean, nothing is failure — it’s an attempt. No, that implies my will, my intent. Let’s look at it this way: it’s something I did. That’s all. And, a year later, it’s OK to go back. … I am who I am as an artist. Perhaps each of those little insights is smoothing or chipping on the sculpture that is my sensibility. It all goes into it. It all shapes my (I’m not sure what name to use for this other than “sensibility”). Whatever it is that makes me who I am now as a person and as a writer — it’s skill and habit, but also there’s wisdom contributing to refinement. There’s process and product together there. I become a better writer and person.  That idea of wholeness — that whatever it is that becomes, whatever it is that is shaped, whatever creative part of me, is shaped —

— Mh, from journal of 14 Nov. 2008

2 responses to “Nonfiction: Nothing is failure

  1. You are successfully banishing the critic who sits on your shoulder and says, “This is no good. This is stupid.” The acceptance you’re describing is very difficult. Good for you!

    • It HAS been difficult — letting go of judging my work, and being accepting of my work, and realizing that it can be good even if it doesn’t match conventional standards by which works are judged, has been probably the single biggest, most valuable idea I’ve learned in recent years.
      — Mh

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