Fingers Crossed

I think I have sufficiently pissed and moaned about this fucking manuscript that I have worked out for myself what’s not working. And I think it’s solvable. And I feel so fucking relieved I may pee my pants.

Though, to be honest, I’m at an age where just sneezing can put me in danger of that.

Anyway, yes. I think I’ve solved it.

On my way over to coffee with S. this morning, I told her how I’d heard this story on NPR about this cultural difference between “Asia” and “the United States” (I put them in quotes because, obviously, Asia is a place with billions of people who have all kinds of different cultures and there are all kinds of Asian cultures contributing to U.S. culture, but that’s aside from the point I took to heart) and how kids in the U.S. are taught that they’re successful because they’re smart and kids in Asia are taught that they’re successful because they struggle. And, in fact, in the U.S., we often experience struggle as a sign of impending failure–in other words, being good at something means not struggling and struggling is a sign that we’re bad at it and probably shouldn’t waste the effort.

That rang true to me. I think that I have been really struggling with this manuscript and it has made me feel like I must be a failure as a writer, even though I can read through it and say that I LOVE 3/4 of it and like 1/4 of it, but can’t quite get the 1/4 to work how I want it to work.

That’s not failure. It’s just struggle.

And so, I need to figure out–for the sake of things from here on out–to just accept struggle as what comes with working toward a goal. Not a sign that I shouldn’t be wasting my time doing it.

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