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Wanting. And wanting what really matters.

"It is hard to fail but worse having never tried to succeed."

These words of Theodore Roosevelt are written in red pen across the top of the white board that sits on my desk. Along with several password reminders, a Quentin Blake postcard, some smiley faces drawn by a trespassing child, flyer cards advertising my favourite a cappella group and more words "Scribo ergo sum immortalis." It probably doesn't take a genius to ascertain that the something in which I wish to succeed may involve words, specifically the magical distillation of words into patterns that create stories.

But
      but
           but

the easy part is telling the story;

harder is finding the good words to write the story;

harder still is reading the story aloud;

hardest of all is sharing it.

I really want to do this. I really don't want to fail. But years of 'never trying' are horrible.

Teddy puts forward 'trying to succeed' as the only sensible option. There is a risk of failure. Always a risk of failure.
And a lot of fear and self-doubt. It is coruscating to examine others who have succeeded. They look so bright, so full of brilliant ideas, so compelling in their drive and ability. Against them, how do I compare. Well - I might as well give up before I start, accept and expect the 'It is hard to fail' bit of the quote.

What is success anyway? I would love one day for someone to read something that I have written and  stop and ponder for a moment. And perhaps change how they think or feel or act. I want to make people laugh and cry. I want children to dream about my stories.
That's all.
That plus learning how to write better, how to analyse and edit, how to build narrative structure. This all matters to me. It is what I want. It is what has driven me to apply for a creative writing course. So that I can do this properly.

But
of course, though what I want matters to me,
it doesn't really matter.

Not in a world where millions of displaced and dispossessed people are on the move.

It would be a dereliction of our humanity 'to fail' them and shaming if we 'never try to succeed' in changing their lives for the better.

My wants are as nothing compared to theirs.




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