“The book said to lean back and lift my legs and bring them up, roll over and swim back,” he recalled. “And I got out and ran to tell my mum and the other mums and dads.” Thanks to his quick thinking and acting, his two friends were also rescued.
There’s that chestnut that “books can save your life,” but I mean good gravy.
Were those years wasted? My sense is, yes and no. No, because that was the work I had to do in order to get to the point where I might write something that was worthwhile. Yes, because it shouldn’t have taken me so many years to write those failures. I was an inefficient failure; that’s the part I regret, and maybe therein lies the potential benefit in taking classes, getting an MFA, having some sort of guide or mentor when we’re doing the heavy lifting of learning how to write. There’s someone around to tell you when you’re being an idiot.
Good take on failure, though probably a whole lot easier for Ben Fountain to write about it these days.
Just because an audience disagrees with the fate of a character doesn’t mean the writers are wrong.
Also, there is no right and wrong when it comes to this stuff.