Words Fail Me... and Vice Versa  

I'm always reading how we should learn to embrace our failures, because those moments of sucking ass will keep building up until we find ourselves poised to get it right. I especially like the notion that our failures have the potential to lead us somewhere completely different than where we thought we would end up or even wanted to be in the first place. In that way, life finds a balance between being a vindictive whore and a beautiful, serendipitous wonder.

I have no doubt there are many who cringe upon encountering my style of writing; detached, overly descriptive, non-linear, and rife with commas. I've also been told that I swear too much and am unwilling to entertain other's viewpoints, which is total fucking bullshit. The thing is, if you saw the back end of my writing process, you'd probably think I was insane. I draft, re-draft, obsess over word usage, cut and paste from unused stories, and fact check the stupidest of things. Very rarely do I publish anything that represents a free-flowing stream of thought. In that sense, I am a failure at publicly failing with my writing.

Pretty sure that's not the point of embracing these "happy failures" though.

You don't have to know me very well to know that, in contrast to my approach within the creative world, my aversion towards failure is ridiculously low. Being wrong about stuff is actually one of the things I do best. On that note, you should never, ever take directions from me. Or advice about which wild berries are safe to eat. For the most part I try not to dwell on any of these failures; I just pick myself back up, maybe learn something new, and keep moving forward. When you spend your whole life trying to always be right, you're bound to miss some amazing shit along the way.

Which I think is exactly the point behind "failing for the better".

On the path to overthinking less and doing more, my first checkpoint is to keep the amount of editing at a minimum. Not that I plan on ever doing away with essentials such as spellcheck or the serial comma. This isn't some Myspace blog or Techcrunch -- I still have standards. I also thought it might be a good idea to put some of my most impressive failures out there for everyone to see, specifically ones related to words and my sometimes poor grasp of basic language concepts:
  • I pronounced the word "segue" as "seeg" until I was in my mid-twenties.
  • When I was a senior in high school, I argued with a cashier at Little Caesars that I was eligible for their senior discount. When I whipped out my student ID, she only stopped laughing long enough to tell me that I might need another year or two in school.
  • I incorrectly sang the chorus of OMC’s “How Bizarre” as “Power’s On” for 10 years, even though I knew the title of the song. Somehow it took me a decade to piece together that Sphinx’s riddle.
  • When I was 13, my brother told me that when you fart and belch at the same time (or one right after the other) it was called "felching". I'd rather not share the story about how I learned the true meaning of that word.
  • I've started reading Atlas Shrugged at least 5 separate times and never made it past the second chapter. Although from what I hear, this one might belong in the "win" column.
  • When I was in middle school I had a list of things hanging on my wall that I hoped to accomplish in my lifetime. Stuff like bungee jump (check), swim with dolphins (check), eat an entire large meat lovers pizza by myself (check), and make Tiffani-Amber Thiessen fall in love with me (pending). One of the more ludicrous goals on my tween bucket list was inspired by an obsession with Death Row Records, Beastie Boys, and the fleeting success of Snow's smash hit single Informer. The goal was simple, yet quite profound for a 12-year-old white boy from Texas - "Find someone who can teach me raping skills."
  • I once bought a Black Eyed Peas album. This may not seem relevant until you consider how far back they have set the English language.
So as you can see, I am an old pro at playing the fool with my words, and have no real reason to fear hitting publish on a post that has yet to undergo a 137-point spot check. Maybe this will make me a better writer, or at the very least a more honest one. Either way I think it will lead to a few extra laughs and a reduced amount of stress. Unless of course you find a typo and don't immediately email me about it, in which case I will hunt you down and make you listen to my Black Eyed Peas CD.

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