Perfecting Failure

I’m doing some editing this morning

My last writing class of the quarter was yesterday. My final project was to put together a chapbook. I’d hoped to have it ready for the final class yesterday, but I didn’t have all of the formatting and last touches done.

I decided that I wanted to take a few little scenes/vignettes from the larger book I’m writing and throw those in there. 12 or 13 one- to two-page pieces–things I’ve already written and can just expand or condense with some editing.

I used to hate editing. In college, I rarely edited ANY of my papers or essays. I just relied on the content and SpellCheck on Word to get me by. It did. I can’t remember too many papers that received less than a 90%.

So, I got used to not editing my work. Mainly, I believe, because I never had as much at stake. Those were always just assignments–even the ones where I got to choose the subject matter. All of it was what someone else had in mind for me to write instead of what I wanted to write. I followed the rules and never broke out of that ruler-follower mode in classroom settings because I have a very large fear of failure in that arena of life.

Well, did have. No longer do. My fears of failure are largely overshadowed by my saboteur’s inner battle against my own success. She secures failure for me when I want it and when I don’t.

Right now, I’m willing to fail.

I hope to fail at this blog.

Fail. Fail again. Fail better.

Those three sentences are a Samuel Beckett quote, I think.

I’ve been getting a lot of practice at perfecting my failure since I graduated college. I’m like a professional failure. I could teach seminars/classes on it. If a college offered a course in it, I’d want to teach it. In fact, I think I could do a pretty good job at it. I’d fail and fail again and fail better.

But, I might be so good at it that I’d succeed and thus be a hypocrit and have to quit 😉

I think all of my failing practice is finally baring some fruit. I think it is wearing down my saboteur. I think she is getting so tired and frustrated with me for stepping on her toes and beating her to her job.

Huh, by beating her at her own game, have I weakened her? I thing perhaps that may be so.

Perhaps I am ready to just let success flow naturally–now that I know so much about the other side of that coin.

So, I’m editing. Because like my diet, I’m ready to change things up in a drastic way and experiment with the complete opposite of how I’ve been living and being. Failure is getting too easy…I know it’s ways a bit too well.

Maybe I’ll flip that coin.

And even though the class is over, I’m still finishing my chapbook project and turning it in at either the class party/reading this weekend or the first day of class next quarter.

It’s not graded. No grades in this class. Only failures. But, somehow, I can’t help but succeed. It’s as if my saboteur is trying to destroy my plans again. But, this time, I’ve tricked her to work FOR me…

Will she foil my plans and best efforts at failure by working her darndest to make me succeed?

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About heathencomehome

question marks & ellipses
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