So what constitutes a failed writing project. I started with the one I worked on before going to MFA school, but after I’d been accepted. Then to now. Before then, there’s a lot. But starting when. In undergrad, I got into fiction writing after a couple quarters of creative writing. I was just doing the writing to better my history major output. When I researched someone I was interviewing for an oral history class, hoping to find something I could turn into a creative non-fiction piece, was it a failed writing project or was it just an idea. An impulse. Scene sketches, story ideas. Impulses. I can’t even imagine how many of those impulses I’ve forgotten. When I was in high school, I wrote at least four screenplays. Before college, another two. In college another one, but really another three. I went back and read one of them—I’m just now remembering another failed writing project, which post-dated the second novel, so it must have been something I really did want to try to do. And I discovered they were awful. The ones I wrote younger. They got a little better in college. Not a lot. I had too many bad influences for them to get much better. But all those decisions I made, as a writer, are gone. I have no idea why I moved the plot like I did. I have no connection with it. If I learned anything from it, it’s all muscle memory now, it’s all passive. I’m pretty sure I didn’t learn anything from them though. Maybe failed writing projects are just best forgotten. Shucked down to the subconscious for processing. C plots become B plots, one becomes A plot. Only in reverse.