Failure and I were practically twins. We looked alike. We were inseparable. Back in elementary school and even in high-school, I failed all the time. Test after test.
I just couldn’t do well. How could I when I was out in the hall – kicked out for either being rude or up to some kind of mischievous activity. You didn’t think I had it in me, did you? You don’t know the half of it.
Somehow it all ended up fine. I graduated an Ontario Scholar and would have even received some sort of university scholarship had I chosen to continue studying in Toronto.
I moved to Israel and began university. I met success face-to-face for the first time in an undergraduate biblical Aramaic course given in Hebrew. I was the only one to receive perfect marks for a paper. And I was the only non-Israeli in the course. The professor even read part of my paper to the class. Me. The failure. Go figure.
As I began to meet success more frequently, I began to understand. Failure and me, we’re not the same person. There’s failure, which I had experienced and then there’s me. Two different entities. Ha. I say that now.
In fact, I may have misled you to believe that I came to this understanding long ago, after feeling success in university, time after time. Nope.
Sometime, this past July, I was working on my book, the children’s fantasy novel I’ve been working on for ages. I met with my dear friend and indispensible editor, EWG. She tore my scene apart. (Now listen here, EWG is the kindest, sweetest and most encouraging of editors, but when something needs work, it needs work, and if you’re unable to hear that your work needs to be revised, don’t write.) I went home and sulked. Hey Failure, what’s up? Long time no see.
Only this time, she looked different. I looked in the mirror and failure didn’t stare right back at me. She looked at me, smiled, and handed me a pen. The eureka moment. So long as I don’t identify myself with failure, she is my friend. I can be objective about where I went wrong, learn from my errors, make a plan and move on. It’s when I decide to be failure’s Siamese twin, it’s then that I have failed. Miserably.
So here I am, EWG, ready to take our writing to a whole new level. Let the editing begin.