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Fail. Fail. Fail.

Colum McCann > Letters to Young Writers > Fail. Fail. Fail.

Fail. Fail. Fail. Failure admits ambition. It requires courage to fail and even more courage to know that you’re going to fail. Reach beyond yourself. The true courage is go to the postbox knowing that it will contain yet another rejection letter. Don’t rip it up. Don’t burn it. Use it as wallpaper instead. Read it every now and then. Know that in the years to come this rejection letter will be a piece of nostalgia. It will yellow and curl and you will remember what it once felt like to throw your words against what everyone presumed would be your silence. Failure is vivifying. You know you’re better than it. Having tried is the true bravery. Failure gets you up in the morning. Failure gets your blood going. Failure dilates your nostrils. Failure tells you to write a bigger story and a better one.