Writing and Failure

If you could do anything at all without failing, what would it be?

The concept of failure has never consciously affected what I aim to achieve, or the manner in which I achieve it. It is a given in life that failure will come as easily as success; in my own life, I simply strive to succeed as much as possible. However, there are things which frustrate me from time to time. My writing, though it is often a source of great creative output, can be devastatingly challenging to bring fully to completion. I will often produce ideas of magnificent and grandiose breadth, yet finding the will and the determination to reach these lofty goals will sometimes fail me. Therefore, the one thing which I would want to be able to do more than anything, without the possibility of failure or simple exhaustion lurking behind me, is to write out all of my ideas, and to publish them as novels for the whole world to read.I attempted to begin this process by writing my first piece which could be considered more than a short story, a 50,000 word science-fiction novel. I attempted to explore my characters with careful depth through both their actions and thoughts in each page of the work, carefully balancing action with introspection. However, I found with each passing day of writing that my words were more difficult to produce than I had initially expected. The task of writing only a few hundred words a day became nearly exhausting – not for the lack of ideas which were flowing through my head, but for the inability to translate those ideas effectively or satisfactorily into writing. I finished the novel, and therefore would not consider what overcame me to be writer’s block in the traditional sense. However, I had to struggle to overtake my own limitations with metaphor and simile, alliteration and assonance, synonyms and verbiage which could extend my story from repetitive babble into something worth reading and, more importantly for myself, worth writing.The greatest joy in the world would be to have those words flow effortlessly, from words to sentences to pages to books. I feel as though my creative output could be incredibly high if I were able to write more rapidly and consistently, with more power and emotion easily placed in my words. I would like to be able to surge through a chapter without stumbling on the minutiae of syntax or structure. Failure, for me, is not the grand failure of being unable to complete a novel, but the subtle failure of being unable to enjoy the experience of dialogue and description that feels perfect and right for each character and each scene. Editing is an essential part of writing, but I still wish that I could do away with the process entirely by being a perfect writer from the onset.My aspirations here, however, are not realistic. Writing is always a struggle with oneself. To a true writer, each new piece is a new challenge. Each sentence of this essay requires that I have genuine and sincere ideas for each word and each meaning. To stop myself from falling victim to formula and repetition requires that I remain engrossed and deeply involved in every last sentence I write, whether I feel that the sentence is a work of art or a piece of trash. It is a strange and unique experience, painful as it is, which is deeply woven into the way in which all writers must, inevitably, write.Therefore, I will continue to write with all its difficulties and painful trials, and I will continue to fight the uphill battle of expressing myself and the ideas which are within my head. If it were possible, I would do all of this without the uphill struggle, without the difficulties or pain. If I could write each page of a story to satisfaction without ever needing to quibble over the grammatical inconsistency of a statement or tear myself apart over the inaccuracy of dialogue as it might relate to the very core of a character, then I would write every possible minute of my life, just for the experience. Yet perhaps my writing is made better through the difficulties I struggle through to make it work. Either way, the concept of unflaggingly creating fiction out of what runs through my mind is a tempting and appealing concept, so much so that it would instantly be my first choice amongst any number of other possibilities. If I could ever take up writing without ever failing, then I would take it up with a great excitement and anticipation for the worlds I could now create with slightly less effort than it will take me in my real life as a writer.

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