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One MUST try


The quote is via lj friend affinity8 :

"I never blame failure -- there are two many complicated situations in life -- but I am absolutely merciless toward lack of effort."

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

This rings authentic for me, in part because of a recent exchange with a good friend of mine about a couple of projects I started, and which have been long-delayed in completion.

The gist of his (well-meant) argument was that it might be time to declare 'game over' on the project in question; to admit that it never would see completion.

My take was that the best way to ensure it never sees completion is to declare that it will never see completion.

But there have been too many things in recent years that others have said were impossible - but then happened anyway - for me to just say it will never happen. If I decide, rationally, logically, practically, that it's a bad path to pursue, or is impossible to do, and I just pull the plug, well, that's one thing. But while I think (on this, or on anything, really) that the only reason for it NOT to happen is because I threw in the towel...

Well. I just can't. Won't. Shan't. And I'll persevere. Because I refuse to be in a position where anyone can say I didn't make the effort - whatever the outcome.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
klwilliams
Oct. 8th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
I've found that as soon as I decide that I won't do something, the Universe conspires to make me do it. So the quickest way to get your projects done may be to declare that you won't do them. Loudly.
coppervale
Oct. 8th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
I was pretty close, and considering it - and that must have been enough, because the fulcrum I needed to make it happen dropped into my lap.

At that point, NOT using the fulcrum would make me 1) look ungrateful to the Universe; and 2) look like a big weenie.
scribblerworks
Oct. 8th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
Look like a big we--?! Ooops, that wasn't what I meant to respond to! ;-)

I quite agree that when, out of the blue, the means to complete something suddenly appear, it does seem silly and petulant not to use them. It looks like the means to complete a particular project of mine will soon be coming my way, and I suddenly realized I have to get cracking to be ready for it.

But I hate giving up on projects, because I've usually been in love with them in some way, to even have contemplated them.

So ... bully for you for holding out!
scribblerworks
Oct. 8th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
I agree!

Now, I have many projects that I wonder if I ever will get them finished (novels partly begun or researched, artwork sketched out and planned, but not painted). But that's really different from me saying "I'll never finish this." I think it's because to say "This will never be done" really ends up killing the work inside me. Whereas, as I discovered recently when I unearthed an unfinished painting, when something is merely not completed it remains waiting, full-blown, in my head and heart, and I can pick up and go on.

Now, as I am a master of the art of procrastination, applying the diligence to the effort of completing the works, that's another matter. ;-)
adeluca
Oct. 8th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
I've never known you to throw in the towel. I remember your busted hand. Look what happened. I remember a publisher saying that a certain sexy looking slip-cased edition book with a journal page wouldn't fly. Look what happened. I remember an interview with the man that was going to run across the Mojave:

Interviewer: "Can you do this? It's 110 in the shade and it's a really long distance!"

Running man: "Well, I'm going to do it. So why even ask if I can do it?"
jpantalleresco
Oct. 8th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
It doesn't matter how long it takes, as long as you move forward the project will be completed. Ray Bradbury spent 50 years on one novel. There's one novel personally I've worked on off and on for twelve years. Just because it's not immediate or you have other projects that need time right now doesn't mean you can't complete them. It just means it's not their time yet.

Besides, there's nothing like pointing at the completed project and saying it's done. Especially to those that said it was time to throw in the towel. But I admit that's a bit of pettiness on my end. But hey, say you don't finish it. As long as you give the effort, there's nothing that can really be said.

Martin Luther King once said "He Tried" is one of the best epitaphs to ever have. As long as the effort is made, did you really fail?

JP
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )