This post is extemporaneous, un-edited and un-solicited. (Have I caveated it enough?) My struggles to understand writing have reduced to this: failure must be a significant part of the process. I hope. Nothing in my life (perhaps golf?) has prepared me to face failure and utter disgust with my own ability quite as much as the last year and a half, and the last two months in particular, with these little frissons of joy at a sentence, a phrase, a moment captured. Yet every time I think that my hands have grasped something concrete, it slides away. It’s character. No, it’s structure. But what level of structure? No, it’s the verbs. I feel like I’m trying to wrap my arms around a jello-mold! Yet, as my wife has pointed out, I’ve never been more happy, never more satisfied with anything I’ve ever done. How does failure satisfy you? How does ineptitude qualify as joy? But there it is. My ego has been stripped raw. My brain fried. My confidence reduced to doubts about every comma, every verb. Yet what else would I rather be doing? Perhaps being attacked by a killer clownfish, but beyond that?