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Give Yourself License to Fail

notes-514998If you’re like me, you were raised thinking that everything you did had to be perfect.  In my case, it had to do with upholding the family reputation and position.  Our family was an old one, and “we always did well in school.” and “We were always the best.”

The stupid thing is that I believed it.  Perhaps all children believe that type of thing.  My oldest cousin in the family didn’t do well at all in school and in fact barely graduated high school.  And my beloved cousin, who was raised as my sister, though she eventually got a degree in chemical engineering, struggled with her studies and compensated for what I’m now convinced was mild ADHD with a never end of work.  I knew this, because I could hear her, (her room was right above mine, with only Victorian ceiling and wood floors between us) study her lessons aloud late into the night.  In fact, she repeated them so much that I memorized the out-of-context information.  Her studying of the fly for biology sparked in me a life-long love of reading about weird creatures.  (The strange part is that I don’t write aliens.  Ah!)

And yet I believed I’d be the best — no, that I SHOULD be the best — without study, without effort.  And I was deeply mortified when I failed at this.

In a way it kept me from taking a more challenging academic course until I was already committed to language and literature.

Of course, it also kept me studying like crazy after that — finally remembering my cousin’s example — when I realized if I wanted to enter college, let alone finish a degree it was going to be difficult.  Despite my facility with English and my ease with French (Partly because I started French at 11, I think, but also because as soon as I could I had French authors I enjoyed reading in their native language) I did NOT have a native talent for language.  In fact, like my cousin learning her science courses, it took a lot of insane work, and was probably harder than if I had gone into STEM which came much more easily to me.

If you’re following the drift above: we are not all of us born perfect, or with the ability to do everything better than anyone else.  What a funny world it would be. Forget about all children being better than average.  All adults would be the best at something, and devote their life to it.  I imagine some poor sap would be the best at folding socks and all the socks in the world would be sent to him.

One of the hardest things I have to do when mentoring is dispelling the myth of talent, the myth that as a raw beginner, you’ll be perfect right off the bat.  Or that you should be.

In years of mentoring (in this field it often starts before you’re even published) I’ve found only two people who were “naturals” and wrote at a perfect level off the bat: one never finished his novel, the other gave up after her first published work failed to become the next Harry Potter.

I’m not saying that talent doesn’t exist.  It does, and it comes in varied amounts.  But out of hundreds of people, I’ve found two who could write publishable, professional novels right off the bat.

Because writing isn’t one talent, or one skill.  Writing is everything together.  It’s not akin to learning to play an instrument.  It’s akin to conducting an orchestra.

There are other talents, smaller, not mentioned here because though they can be a delight, they rarely carry a novel-length work.  But the talents I’ve identified that can carry a novel even if the rest of the work is crap are the following: Language, plotting, characters, setting.

I grant you that a talent for setting has trouble carrying a novel, but if you make it appealing enough it will draw people in to live in it, and only after finishing the novel will they realize it has neither plot nor characters.

I was given two gifts: the first is the most useless of all, not because it doesn’t impress people — it does — but because it’s both the most common and the one that can actively trick you into making your novel well-nigh unreadable.  Yep, language.  I can use beautiful language, revel in it.  I love historical forms of English, and it took me years to figure out that even my lawyer friend struggled to read the Shakespeare trilogy.  Count that under “let it trick me into making it less readable.”  If I’m tired and let go, and particularly if what I’m writing is a short story (like, An Answer From The North, say) what emerges is an elaborate prose poem.  This is acceptable as a short story.  Some people can do it as novels.  But you’re going to lose some portion of your audience.

The second is characters.  I don’t base them on anyone, and I take no credit for them.  They walk onto my page living, breathing and sometimes shouting orders or warnings.  They are what they are.  I don’t have to worry about developing them.  They do that themselves.

The problem with that is that I was so fooled by their realness and humanity it took me years to understand I had no plot in which they could display themselves.  Talking heads and deep thoughts, no matter how much it’s some of our lives, is not a novel.

Plot took me very long to learn, and I am still learning to do action.  It took me years to figure out I should even work at it.

I would just write, then be embarrassed and upset that I couldn’t make a functional novel, and forget it.

No one is born knowing everything and also get over it.

If instead of storing away my first personal rejection (to the first story I ever sent out) which came accompanied with a copy of the magazine and told me it was for me to see why it didn’t fit and send them something more fitting, I’d taken their hint, studied the magazine and written the type of story they took, it might have shaved 13 years of fruitless work off my slate.

Years later, when I understood I’d have to work to be publishable, I cursed my younger self.

But I’d been trained to think I’d be the best right off the bat.  Since I wasn’t, the humiliation was deep and crippling, and if I hadn’t had a… thirst for writing, I’d probably have walked away then, like my friend who walked away because her first novel wasn’t a best seller.

Thank heavens writing is a true-vocation to me, and I can’t stay away too long.  (No, seriously, I once gave it up for two weeks, and cleaned EVERYTHING.  I was in the bathroom, scrubbing the floor tile group with a tooth brush when the three guys (husband and two sons, the older being then six) came to the door and begged me to go back to writing, because I wasn’t well when I didn’t.)  It forced me past my stupidity, past my ingrained pride, past my embarrassment at failure and into actually learning to write.

The learning is not done.  At different times, and at different books, I will find something I can’t do at once, no matter how much I want to.  Sometimes, if the book is on deadline, I’ll deliver the best patch job I can, and then dive deep in search of books that do it right, so I can analyze, take them apart, and absorb it organically, too.

The latest area of study is writing action.  It started with a friend who alas I only got to keep for a month.  While he was dying of liver cancer, he critiqued my stories, and told me all the scenes of action I wasn’t even seeing much less leaving out.

After his death, I started a back to back read of Correia and Wilson, and as some of you noted, and told me, my action in Darkship Revenge is much better.

And then I worked with Larry on Guardian, and once more realized I have a lot to learn when it comes to writing action.  It will come, but it’s going to be a lot of work.

And sometimes, I still need to remember I have permission to fail.  My standards are high, and even though I have more than thirty books out, sometimes I’ll fall short of them.

I know you’ll say “well duh” but believe it or not I can still become deeply embarrassed, afraid I don’t have what it takes, and start thinking of punishing myself by walking away.

I can’t, as I’m actually making a living from this now, and the family can use it, since we’re supporting two sons in protracted degrees.  BUT I still feel “unworthy” of being a writer, and think I should run off in pursuit of something — anything — else.

Of course, nothing else could come perfect right away, but the back brain doesn’t know that.

Give yourself permission to fail.

I once read that artists practice every day even if what they’re drawing is awful.  They understand it’s a craft, and that as much as art is there, you need to learn your metier.  This is not necessarily true.  As I’ve found, because I tend to be as stupid about art as about writing, only the ONES WHO SUCCEED take that approach.  The others get embarrassed their first product isn’t perfect and run off.

Now you choose what you want to do and what you want to be.  In this life, sticktoitness is way more valuable than talent or even intelligence.

If you decide to stick to it and you’re a raw beginner (or a mid-beginner or a late-beginner like me) you could do worse than read or re-read Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer.  And if characters are a problem for you, you could do worse than Dwight Swain’s Building Story People.

Those two, if you apply yourself and practice should get you to publishable.  After that you’re on your own, as each person’s path is different.

But you can’t run away when everything isn’t perfect.  And you can’t be embarrassed when you fail one time or ten or seven times time seven times.

The race is not always to the swift nor the victory to the strong, but sheer bulldogedness, work, and refusing to be bogged down in how short you fall of your ideal?  That will see you through wherever it is you want to go.

You might be bruised and battered, but you’ll get there.

Never give up! Never Surrender!  And don’t sweep your failures under the rug.  Hold them up proudly.  They’re what you did on the way to success.

Now go write.

45 Comments
  1. paladin3001 #

    I think the best expression I have heard that goes with anything is “Fail faster”. The faster you fail the faster you learn and correct the errors. I am trying to fail faster, and trying to succeed. Right now I just have to work on that nasty editor and beat him down from time to time. Getting there though.

    December 20, 2017
  2. Don’t quite know how to comment. My first reaction is “Yeah, but I’m tired of always being wrong,” which is a close cousin to fear of failure. This came after discovering I had botched the calculation for Mardi Gras but not Ash Wednesday (used in a DIY special format job book for work, and ported over into a DIY three-month-per-page calendar). Sometimes you just get tired of it.

    That’s something behind repeated rejections. Even Stephen King tells about the nail he filled with rejections before making a sale. After a while, though, you wonder is this a waste of time? And the heck of it is there’s no solution for this, other than if it makes us absolutely miserable, then maybe we should just do something else. That’s applicable to more than writing.

    Right now I’m sweating when to release a completed book. I figured after Christmas would be better than before, but not sure whether to aim at the 26th or 27th or wait until January 1. The kids tell me I should just pick a date and do it, and raise the question what are you afraid of? That it will sink like a rock, of course. But other than that, why not just pick a date and not agonize over it? Because I suspect that it will somehow be the wrong decision. The only way I can deal with that is to reflect that in the scheme of things, this is going to be a pretty insignificant decision, anyway.

    December 20, 2017
    • Yup.

      Released my first book on Kindle about a month ago and had to force myself to do it by giving myself a deadline (signed up for a comic show to sell my comic collection and decided to also sell my book therefore book had to be done). That said telling people about it and trying to sell it (online, in person I seem to have no problem and enjoy the process) has been difficult. As if I thought pulling one trigger would trigger all the other triggers and am only now realizing I’m still the one who needs to actually pull the trigger.

      In my case it isn’t the internet hate mod (don’t care about them), nor a lack of faith in my book (I like it. A lot), not a fear of criticism, but rather a gap in my thinking in that I hate to be sold stuff, I get very shirty around salesmen and people trying to sell me stuff and would prefer they do it by presenting their wares as simply and unadorned by hyperbole as possible. But that’s me, and other people are different, and I’ve started to come around to the idea that people want to be sold on things. That they think the worth of the product is reflected in how enthusiastically you are in your sales pitch. Offline, I can do it, calmly, gently, but with enthusiasm and a smile, but online? Still trying to pull that trigger.

      As to rejections, I just found them to be… tiresome. Not in the sense of ‘how dare they not buy my brilliance’, but in the sense of not knowing what they were looking for, not knowing if they were looking for what I write, not knowing if it was worth my time and effort since short story publication no longer seems to lead to selling novels to publishers (and I’m not sure if it ever really did). Also, I’ve talked to some editors and publishers over the years and part of me got the feeling that getting rejected by them might not necessarily be a bad thing as their tastes are… not reflective of mine or the market I’d like to write for. I’m not bummed out when I get rejected just at the point where I roll my eyes over it and wonder why I would want to continue writing and submitting short stories when I like writing novels more.

      Steve

      December 20, 2017
    • I’d say that if you’re waffling, release it on the first, make calculating easy.

      December 20, 2017
      • That was my initial plan. It’s a juvenile, and was thinking slightly earlier would be better.

        Shrug. It’ll probably sink like a rock, anyway. If it does, may go in a different direction writing-wise.

        December 20, 2017
  3. C4c

    December 20, 2017
  4. Wait, now you need a license just to fail? Damned government overreach!

    December 20, 2017
    • See, I thought that was a Core Catechism of the Rite of Mother’s Blessed Snowflake: Failure is the Devil because you’re already perfect and those who want you to CHANGE WHO YOU ARE by committing PRACTICE are just a bunch of jealous whatever-the-hell-you-are-o-phobes who probably voted for W and Trump and Hitler.

      December 20, 2017
    • Draven #

      yes, because everyone is a special snowflake and no one ever loses.
      j/k

      December 20, 2017
  5. sam57l0 #

    As tho old saying goes, Never give up, never give up, never give up…the ship.

    December 20, 2017
    • “Never give up. Never surrender.” Jason Nesmith. 😉

      December 20, 2017
      • Draven #

        Did ya ever notice how Jason Nesmith sounds just like Buzz Lightyear?

        ijs

        December 20, 2017
  6. BobtheRegisterredFool #

    I maybe have a talent for setting, or it may be simple experience.

    I’ve been struggling with plotting and character for many a year. And shorting myself on practice.

    December 20, 2017
    • Settings are a bit easier for some of us, I think, largely because we like to imagine ourselves in these other worlds. But plotting and characters take a bit more effort, since that requires populating these lovely worlds… and not a few of us have grown somewhat antisocial.

      December 20, 2017
      • I am still trying to break myself of the habit of purple prose when it comes to setting. I can, and have, spent *pages* on nothing more than a spring day on a wooded hill. The scent of cold still snapping in the breeze, the budding leaves, the chuckling stream, the birds, the bugs, the little critters, the squishy mud, the hint of ash from a spent cigarette, the cloudy morning glowing from blush to rose to brilliant white…

        Yeah, I spent waaaaay too much time on it. This was probably two and a half pages from the Holm story that got cut because getting lost in the scenery was not what our character would do. Another character in the story, possibly (she’s more easily lost in the beauty of nature), but not our stoic. *chuckle*

        And as far as antisocial goes, it stinks having to re-learn the habits of being around other people in the flesh. Rhythms of speech lost, social conventions forgot, awkwardness and all the rest. It’s a wonder so many of us find other people to get on with in the real world sometimes, but it’s a nice thing when it happens. *grin*

        December 20, 2017
        • I am still trying to break myself of the habit of purple prose when it comes to setting. I can, and have, spent *pages* on nothing more than a spring day on a wooded hill. The scent of cold still snapping in the breeze, the budding leaves, the chuckling stream, the birds, the bugs, the little critters, the squishy mud, the hint of ash from a spent cigarette, the cloudy morning glowing from blush to rose to brilliant white…

          I write it out. Then cut and paste it into a different document. There will be times when I leave it in, when it’s germane to the character, but not use it all the time.

          December 20, 2017
          • Oh, it definitely goes down on the page. Can’t help it really, at least not yet. Mostly it ends up in the notes file with all the little things like geography for the map, nations and peoples and cultures, names, and biology experiments (monsters!). *grin*

            December 20, 2017
        • Depends on what you’re writing. Maybe you need to add a few things . . .

          The scent of cold still snapping in the breeze, clean of the smell of death. The budding leaves showed no sign of the Blight, the chuckling stream, the birds, the bugs, the little critters, all normal. The squishy mud, clear of any unnaturally shaped prints. The hint of ash from a spent cigarette . . . I sank to one knee and searched visually for the source . . . yes, there was the rubbed out butt. As the cloudy morning glow changed from blush to rose to brilliant white I studied the ground carefully. Where would the smoker have gone from here? A refugee, with a last horded smoke? Unlikely. And that meant . . .

          December 20, 2017
          • That’s what I ended up doing, along with cutting a lot out. *grin* I tend to do setting, well *over*do setting automatically, and then go back and fix. The reason I cut so much out was tone and headology.

            The reader is sitting on the pov character’s shoulder, seeing mostly what he sees (and I did cheat some. I may cut the cheatyness out, or leave it, haven’t decided yet- will on the rewrite). Holm doesn’t consciously experience things like -redacted- character does, and setting up how the reader experiences things with Holm to differentiate how they experience things with -redacted- is something I am playing with right now.

            The story has an overall setting feeling to it, and the characters have a sort of filter over that setting, if that makes any sense. I got lost in making the scene live and breathe and forgot about the characters, and the reader for a bit. And drawing the readers in, showing them around, and letting them get to know the characters is the thing I’m aiming for.

            Putting that scene into motion, as you did there, is what I need practice in. *chuckle* Chalk it up to spending years scribbling little drawings in notebooks and on envelopes. I’ve one parent and three grandparents with artistic talent that seems to have missed with me. I still like to doodle, but writing is a more insistent draw.

            December 20, 2017
        • Purple prose has its place. I have a character who is so happy to be out of a city that she heads toward the purple zone in describing how beautiful it all looks. The other character, who’s already miserable, only sees a cold, wet, pasture.

          The problem I have with scenes is a standard one: Just because we see it in our heads doesn’t mean our readers do as well. But we don’t have to go purple. Like a cartoonist, we can imply the setting with a few bold strokes and let the reader fill in the rest. Say “castle” and a reader has a good idea what we mean.

          The challenge comes in adding nuances that evoke feeling. Saying: “The skeletal trees clawed at the moon” evokes something different than “The moon rose above the bare trees.” Evoking a feeling without going purple is the difficulty.

          December 21, 2017
          • “Purple prose” is only a problem when writers become more enamored with how pretty their words are and not with the “picture” they’re “painting” with them. The goal is vividness–how clearly the setting, including the emotional content, is created in the reader’s mind.

            December 21, 2017
  7. Back when I was a believer in a certain church one of its leaders gave a talk that included some Henry Kaiser. He pointed out that Kaiser failed at some large percentage of the things he’d attempted (It’s been more than 30 years since I heard the talk–I had it on tape which is long, long gone–so the details are down the memory hole). He then went on to describe a staggering list of accomplishments that Kaiser had achieved. And if a XX% failure can accomplish that… The point, of course, being it’s not how often you fail but how often you try that makes the difference.

    December 20, 2017
    • BobtheRegisterredFool #

      Also, the opportunities that have risk are more common than certainties. You can focus on sure bets, and do very few things, or you can take a lot of calculated risks. You rack up a lot of failure doing the latter. Failures are also learning experiences, ways to find out what changes you need to make in order to avoid avoidable mistakes.

      This is easy to say, but it can be very hard to change yourself so that you grow this way.

      December 20, 2017
  8. I wrote a dreadful lot of dreadful proto-Goth garbage fan-fic-ish stuff as a teen, along with poetic odes to dying trees and the like. But it taught me how to carry a story through. Writing history forced me to world-build from documents, because I could not assume that my readers understood the world of the High Plains in the late 1800s and the world-view of the peoples who lived there. After writing several novel-length short story sets, and three novels (one not so good. I tried to be cute. Even after I toned down the “cute” it still clunks.) I went back to the dissertation and winced. The subsequent monograph was light-years better.

    Every word counted, just not in ways that I understood at the time.

    December 20, 2017
    • The old cliche of having to write a million words of dreck before producing good stuff. But it can’t be just any dreck. It has to be the absolute best dreck you’re able to write at each point in time.

      December 20, 2017
      • Sometimes I think the “million words” is a bit low… I know I passed that some time back. Still have mountains to learn.

        December 20, 2017
  9. I’m not saying that talent doesn’t exist. It does, and it comes in varied amounts. But out of hundreds of people, I’ve found two who could write publishable, professional novels right off the bat.

    For the most part I suspect that people who actually have talent (unless they’re a true giant like, say, Heinlein) they’re not even going to know until after they’ve put the thousands of hours of work into the field. At most it’s a “multiplier” that leads one to get a bit more benefit from a given amount of time and effort than someone with less “talent”.

    Personally, I’m still not sure If I have any “talent” for this writing gig. 😉

    It was pointed out to me in the arena of physical/sports talent, most of the time for young people “talent” in sports is simply a matter of early physical maturation. They hit various development milestones a bit earlier leading to their excelling at sports because of that head start. And since they excel at it from that early head start, they do it more, and therefore get better at it.

    I was the other way, a bit late in maturing so was always the “runt”. It was only later that I looked back and realized that by my junior year in high school I’d caught up the people who’d run rings around me in earlier years–it just took me longer to get there but once I’d physically matured and “filled out” I was at least average or better despite having essentially given up on physical pursuits to avoid humiliation.

    December 20, 2017
    • I teach Geometry to 8th graders so I only get students who started excelling in 3rd or 4th grade…. but it is amazing how many of them were born November to February, let us say. I’ve heard that this birthday deal is true in sports as well so it isn’t even “early” physical maturation. It’s just kids who are ahead because they are actually a little older… statistically.

      On the issue of failing/not doing I’ve noticed that if I count what I didn’t do in a day I decide that I am worthless. But if I start counting what I did do it’s … different. Even though what I did do may not have been on my original list it still usually ends of being a lot of stuff done.

      December 20, 2017
      • One of the odd things in my life of being odd is realizing with a February birth date I had a natural born advantage in school. Which my parents accidentally took away when they decided that since I was a bright kid they could ask the school to make an exception for me and let me go in a year early. (note to parents; if you’re thinking this, please think differently).

        In sports outside of school I had a decided advantage (being months older and also naturally larger) but in school I was one of the smallest kids in class. That dichotomy, knowing what being treated well was and knowing what being treated like crap was, meant that I had a very hard time accepting my ‘lot in life’ of being the whipping boy. Now, how do I know the way teachers treated me was based on my lack of size? I don’t, but I feel it a reasonable supposition since it changed noticeably when I hit puberty and shot past nearly everybody else in class.

        December 20, 2017
      • AesopFan #

        Malcolm Gladwell mentions that in one of his books, although I’m not sure now which one it is.

        December 20, 2017
  10. Thanks, Sarah. This drills in the scheduled practice, both for art and for writing. Oddly, it is in my art more than my writing that I seem to think I should be faster at it… better at it.. than I actually currently am. Possibly because, in many cases I can see what’s wrong, I just can’t fix it.

    December 20, 2017
    • Have you ever read the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain? It may be based on outdated research, at least in its theory, but it includes a bunch of techniques to get you to draw what you’re actually seeing instead of what you think you’re seeing. It helped me a lot—and I’m one of those people who used to be described as a natural artist. (Or as I say, “everybody used to like the way I drew, but after going through that process, I liked the way I drew!”)

      December 20, 2017
      • Oh, and nothing gets you drawing fast like panic. I did graphics and illustration for my college newspaper. They paid me per item—and they usually told me what they needed only a couple of hours before deadline. I got both fast and creative that way.

        (Worst task ever: “Draw a graphic about abortion. Make it neutral.” Second-worst: “We need a graphic about the anniversary of the killings in El Salvador. We have a picture but we can’t use it.” I asked why. I shouldn’t have. They were 4×6 photos like you’d get from Target, and I wonder what the kid processing them thought.)

        December 20, 2017
      • I’ll definitely have to look that one up, thanks!

        December 20, 2017
  11. This is, once more, something I very much needed to hear at a time I needed to hear it.

    (I’ve got a first draft of something done, and am stalled–HARD–in the edit pass. There’s so much to do! Several entire scenes that need to be written now that I’ve got a much better sense of the flow, other scenes that need to be replaced entirely because I put them in despite knowing they were wrong at the time because I didn’t know what needed to be there (I do now), and… the concept that “you have to do it right this time because it’s not a draft anymore” is really stifling.)

    (That and I’m pretty sure it’ll be unsaleable just based on content, but as you’ve said before, that’s no reason not to put it up under a pen name)

    So… yeah. Going to try to give myself permission to suck again, because moving onto other projects as I’ve tried to do just is just going to run into the same problem once I finish *those* first drafts. >_>

    On getting things for free…

    I think I get two things for free, too. Typing and Structure.

    Typing isn’t writer-craft so-to-speak, but I type at 100+ words-per-minute with fantastic accuracy–the skill that’s kept me in day jobs for the most part. *It counts.* When I manage to shrug off the witch on my back, I can produce a *lot* pretty quickly. (She’s got pretty good handles, though.)

    Structure… I see how things slot together pretty much as I’m making them or reading them. “Okay, what goes wrong with the sewer system *has* to be the same thing, or at least echo, the issue that his wife had with her breakfast-maker in the first scene.” “Here, we need the offer and the potential of redemption to the main character’s mirror-type who stays behind, and we need it rejected violently enough to put no doubt in the audience’s mind that he had to die.” (This is pretty close to plot, I think?)

    Characters is pulling teeth, and if I don’t focus *hard*, or get distracted, they’re inevitably dancing against plain white backgrounds. But I’m working on both of those, and my husband helps a lot. I figure I can focus on language down the road.

    …so, yeah. I’m not actually caring which project at this point, you’re right. I should get writing.

    December 20, 2017
    • Read Dwight Swain on story people. I don’t have that problem, but friends who do have found it very helpful.

      December 20, 2017
      • Seconded. Swain is not your high-school textbook kind of thing. It’s practical, readable, and fits with some of the stuff I was doing all unknowing why some stuff worked and others… didn’t.

        December 20, 2017
        • I really ought to have already–Techniques changed everything. (Including characters. I have a bad habit of following mush-minds uncertain of anything enough to do much–forcing these bits of bread into situations never bought me more than a chapter or two.)

          I’m not sure why it doesn’t occur to me to do it until I’m told specifically to do so by Hoyt in a comment response to me (this is the second time it’s happened), but… well. Done.

          (Probably on Friday. There were snow tires purchased this week.)

          December 20, 2017
          • Budget-man (aka husband) informs me I was wildly pessimistic about my buying power.

            Buying now, and life is good.

            December 20, 2017
    • I cut two chapters from the next Cat book because they did not move the story. They are nice, but don’t fit. And then, when I was patting myself on the back at having gotten everything tidied and trimmed down to less than 110,000 words… I realized that if this is the last in the series (as I intend it to be), there is a plot thread that had better be tied off or else fans will be very, very unhappy. So I had to write at least two chapters, massively re-work two others, and my end up moving one chapter entirely, although I’m not certain about the last.

      December 20, 2017
  12. I don’t get language for free, but I do get dialogue. Probably because I talk a lot, and I talk to anyone.

    Hey, there has to be some benefit to being a chatterbox.

    December 20, 2017
  13. Christopher M. Chupik #

    If you haven’t failed, you haven’t learned.

    December 20, 2017
  14. Each of us needs to have a satisfaction with ourselves and what we do now, combined with a sense of dissatisfaction to stay how we are, a desire to continue to learn more and improve in some fashion.

    Most of us either are mostly/totally satisfied and never get better, or are so dissatisfied with where we are that we lose sight of the good we do have, and thus too many give up.

    As G.K. Chesterton might have posited, we need a dynamic balance of these two to make life worthwhile.

    December 20, 2017

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