"Early on, I was very scared about whether or not I was good enough. I’d been a writer for a very long time, but also, not really. The thing is, I had tried, but not very hard. Because if you don't try very hard, and you fail, you don't have to feel that badly about it. I think it's terrifying when you say, 'I'm really committed to this,' and you try your hardest and do your absolute best work. Then, if you fail, you don't have anything to hide behind."
That's Alexi Zentner from an interview at The Millions.
The line that really haunts/stings is this one:
"Because if you don't try very hard, and you fail, you don't have to feel that badly about it."
Alexi -- who I met yesterday at a reading in San Diego -- just published his first novel, Touch.