Journal: Permission to Fail

I read that part of the creative writing process is giving yourself “permission to fail.” That even writing terribly has some value in honing the narrative craft. The idea struck me because permission-to-fail is simply something most people, including professional writers, cannot indulge in. Permission-to-fail is typically followed by permission-to-find-another-job.

I actually tried to start this blog two three years ago, but abandoned it after a handful of crummy posts and blew up the whole site. I realize now that I never gave myself the requisite permission. Legal writers are not risk takers. And the possibility of failure, even if known to no one but me and a few internet-strangers, was a powerful a deterrent. It was easier to daydream and remain ignorant of my lack of talent.

Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m reading a guide to fiction writing or a self-help book. Makes sense, I suppose, since good storytelling allegedly requires a high degree of self awareness and introspection. In any case, the process thus far has been nothing but self examination. Why and who cares and sometimes even a what if. Upon reflection, I’ve decided not just to permit failure, but to accept and embrace it. After all, I cannot fear death if I am already dead. And just maybe, I will discover that I am actually alive.

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