My husband teaches writing. Novel writing, life writing, sudden fiction. It's kind of the Fuller family business, a trade he learned from his father, an English professor.
I've taken Geoff's classes myself many times - partly because I love getting something for free (and he wouldn't dare charge me), but also because I like to be around those unafraid of chasing their dreams.
Geoff is frequently asked when he's going to teach his next class, and those who ask are usually quick to give their phone number or e-mail address so he can contact them with the dates. After he sends out announcements that class registration is open, he'll get his usual flurry of registrations, and then in the days leading up to the first class, a few will always decide to back out.
"I got scared," one admitted to me recently. "What if everyone else is so much better than me? What if my ideas are stupid?"
"But what if they're not?" I asked.
It didn't matter. She decided it was safer not to try at all than to risk trying and possibly fail.
I'm not sure I understand why some view failure as such a terrible thing. Not trying at all - that's bad. But isn't there something noble and admirable about trying and failing? Especially when the one who failed gets up and tries it again (and again).
Like most parents, I want my child to succeed. But unlike many parents, I don't want her success to come easily. If she gets to the top without a good, healthy struggle, it won't be anywhere near as satisfying or as valuable to her as it would if she works for every milestone she reaches.