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L’Engle on Uncertainty and Failure


This one goes out to all the writers who have ever experienced a sense of failure or uncertainty in their work. (To that one writer in particular—you know who you are—keep the faith. xoxoxoxo)

I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their validity, no matter what. When I look back on [my] decade of total failure—it’s been a mixture, both before, and since—there was, even on the days of rejection slips, a tiny, stubborn refusal to be completely put down. And I think, too, and possibly most important, that there is a faith simply in the validity of art…

-Madeleine L’Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life


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