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So many times I’ve stared at a string of blurry slop in a word document, eyes squinting, scratching my head, all while thinking, Wow, this is really, really terrible. Maybe I’ll try to push through the creeping doubt, tune it out and plug away. But the doubt grows, screaming in my ear until it bears down on me. I question each word, every sentence, what I’m trying to do in the first place until I say forget it. I go to close the document, ball up the page or burn the entire thing to the ground, because what’s the use? But then I don’t. I don’t scrap it but save it. Because whatever idea or burst that got me going, grabbed my attention long enough to sit me down and get me writing—be it weird, different, quirky, a failed attempt to be original—must contain something worth keeping. And so I keep it for later. Recently I lost a thumb drive. I think I left it at the library but I haven’t called yet called to check so I can’t be sure. On the drive are several novels, well, half nove

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