Let me forgive myself for the stories that are not perfect,
for the scenes rushed through and the plot points fumbled,
and the language less than it ought to be,
and the phrases that make me wince
even though no one notices but me.
Let me forgive myself for the stories I didn’t write,
didn’t finish, or didn’t let anyone see -
because I was too busy, too lazy, too tired, too frightened,
because I was living my life, or saving my life,
because I was falling in love, or falling out of love,
because I had run out of words, or room, or time,
let me forgive myself for all those stories
that live inside me
and not on the page.
Let me forgive myself for my failures, but also
for all those times when I tallied my shortcomings
instead of celebrating each small success.
Let me celebrate now:
not the life that I dreamed of, but the life that I have,
not the stories that I dreamed of, but the stories that I’ve made,
not the writer I imagined I’d one day be, but the writer that I am.
And then let me keep working.
- Terri Windling