Failure is not an option!

sols_6It is a cold (50 degrees) and a rainy day. Yes, this is July 9. I am sitting watching Lake Superior in Minnesota from inside instead of out on the one sand beach in the city of Duluth. I am reflecting instead of writing. I have retired and feel a drift – what does one do without a classroom? Where do I go in the fall when I don’t have 30 some students in front of me fighting, reading, and pushing every button I have?

I had planned to write or re write that children’s book I started years ago. I had planned to develop the photography I had started years ago. But I have frozen… fear and self doubt slid in unaware and has surprised me. So I sit.

I started reading posts at Two Writing teachers today since I seem to not be able to write and found Elissa Fields post on her revisions (  I realize she is so right or at least her coffee mug is.

Failure is not a option!  

I have waited for years (39 to be exact) for the open space in front of me to write and learn to do photography well. I have waited to find the time to create a children’s book and to explore the artist side of myself. I have waited to find that artist in me that I worked so hard to bring out in my students.

Now the time is here and I am running the other way. I am not sure of myself, the artist’s doubt comes full force once the time is before me. I feel just like my students. I can’t do this! It is that personal fear and self doubt we all feel.

My students feel it all the time – that fear of writing and I tell them to push through. Put your pencil to paper and keep going.

So tonight I need to take the advise of so many writers, the advise of Elissa’s coffee mug, and of those who have traveled this road before. Put my pencil to paper, my fingers to the key board and write. Put words on paper or screen – just write.

You know what – when you do it – when you just write it feels great. It is the getting started that is so hard. It may not be a master piece but it is the act of writing that counts.

So here is to a night of writing!

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Failure is not an option!

  1. Peg D says:

    Congratulations on your retirement and good luck with the writing. Every journey begins with a single step. You’ll be fine. 🙂

  2. elissa field says:

    Good for you, JL! That “Failure is not an option” mug is just this kind of reminder for me, every time I get it out for my morning coffee. You got it written, and should feel great for that. 🙂

  3. Congratulations! I know you’ll overcome your fear and find joy in writing, photography, and who knows what else!

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