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Pursuing Failure

The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.” –Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild


I love new authors.

Some people think I’m crazy for loving them, but I do. I love their wild, unrestrained ambition.

Kitty Softpaws, before she was published

Kitty Softpaws, before she was published

I love their foolhardy, overexcited naiveté, their flights of fancy and delusional visions of grandeur.

I love their walking clichés.

I love them, despite feeling sorry for them, and not because I know they are in for it. I don’t want to burst their bubbles or convince them they’ll suffer, though they certainly will before they’re through. Writing a book is no picnic. And there’s no easy way. No shortcut.

I suppose I love them because they convince me over and over again of the awesomeness of the task and the fact that for any great book to get written it takes a vision far greater, and a visionary far wiser, than any of us have currently apprehended.

I love the crazy promise of that! And I love them for the promise of exciting new insight they always bring.

It’s been a while since I said it, so you’re indulging me this morning. I love their irrepressible energy for the familiar foundations and the mundane rules of usage. The nit-picky detail. The overreaching and underperforming.

I love their willingness to fail.

What Chapter 29 looks like from the ground.

What Chapter 29 looks like from the ground.

I don’t love their unrestrained demands, when they crop up now and then, and yet even then the passion the outbursts represent is endearing.

I love the hard work they’re so eager to do, knowing they may fail, and still carrying on with the changing and revising they can’t get enough of. I love the amount of time they can spend on getting a sentence just right.

But most of all, I love the life they live, inviting and receiving it all with open eyes and waiting pens, poised to capture it and not let it blindly pass.

And this is my tribute to them, the crazy ones. Your unbelievable commitment and sacrifices will not be forgotten.

I’m beholden to your persistence and dedicated work. I’m honored to know you.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Always so gratefully yours,


p.s. In case you didn’t notice, this link is the hidden message for the week: how to succeed at failing or Writing What’s Maybe Almost Brave

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