A Fairy Tale

Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

It was 2 AM. As my fingers moved across the keyboard, words sprang onto the surface of my laptop screen like drops of tar. Word count revealed that I had only written 500 words today. Unacceptable. Stephen King averaged 2000 words a day. I had to keep up. Disregarding how the stream of words popping up on the screen contradicted the story line, I continued to write.

My desire to write a novel had been born out of envy. I felt painfully ordinary in comparison to my classmates who each seemed to possess a ream of talents that outshone my own. I craved a success, and I thought writing a novel would be a suitable solution.

I began the endeavor with enthusiasm, titling my work-in-progress The White-Haired Princess. Even though the characters I came up with were beings of another world, by fleshing out their physical features, fears, and histories in my mind, they became satisfyingly human: Aia, the brazen queen, Sarah, the eerie princess, and Geoff, the cruel prince. I wondered what sort of childhood could have made Geoff calloused enough to kill forest animals in front of fragile Sarah, and how much of Aia's harsh treatment of her daughter contributed to her meek disposition. Late at night and early in the morning, I would huddle...

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