A half-revised article on failing

My original title idea for this was “No revisions: article on failing.” Because I had in mind the idea that I should fail in some way as I write about failing, about how failure is trying is improving and learning.

Except then the idea of actually posting something that I hadn’t revised at all freaked me out too much.

So you know this is going to go well from the get-go–listen to me talk about how failure and imperfections are important, yet I’m too nervous to actually fail on purpose.

I’m going to use a very applicable example here to illustrate failure being a good thing: starting a website.

I started this website approximately 8 months ago. I had zero clue what I was doing, but I wanted to make a website. Post my thoughts, and stories I wrote, and a full range of poems (the good, the bad, the simple). Many hours later, many google searches on how to do X thing later, I actually posted an article. It got 0 likes. My website had 0 people visiting it. Surprise I guess?

And now I get approximately 5 likes an article. Which is to say, I am now a total expert, my website is absolutely perfect, all I write is perfect beautifulness and I definitely have lots of friends helping me improve my writing.

I guess I’m doing an 8-ish month reflection? Also, this article is unexpectedly hard to write. Being vulnerable and all feels like an invitation for criticism.

Anyway, so here’s what I’ve started to learn: add a bunch of tags to your article. Be as consistent as possible. Write well, check out other people’s stuff and they might check out yours. Make fancy titles. Experiment with pictures and design and maybe no one will notice, or maybe someone will and that’s equally frightening, but at some level the stuff you do, you do it for you. So it doesn’t matter if no one notices, or twenty people notice.

I wonder where I’ll be in 8 more months…

Here’s a poem I tried not to revise on purpose.

Slave away, one big break away,

I toil in the dark of obscurity.

The shadows beg me the question,

“would you rather never have any critics

or never have any readers?”

But I suppose the answer isn’t up to me but up to fate, or luck,

or stars aligning somewhere–

Which is why I dream for the thrill of it,

scrawl expanding fantasies in my sleep,

and wake the most common, ordinary soul

paddling life’s river for some measure of control.

Hello, failure.

I will keep coming back for more,

as I build my sprawling fantasies in the night

and fly from the shadows ever higher.


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