For me, failure is like the first-person accounts I’ve heard from people who were saved from drowning or freezing to death.
You struggle mightily. At some point, however, you stop and are gripped by calm or warmth.
For the last two days, I have been fighting after being handcuffed, stuffed into a garbage bag and thrown into an icy reservoir. At 8:30 a.m., however, I put my hammer down. I wiped down my edges with a rag and put my tools back into my chest.
When I finish this blog entry, I will dismantle the parts and return them to my wood rack. The nails will go back to the cabinet.
Like many failed projects, I could have completed this box, and it would have been perfectly usable. I know woodworkers who keep their failures as a reminder of a hard lesson, but that’s not me. If I cannot sign my name to a piece and deliver it to a customer, it won’t leave my shop.
(That’s not entirely true. These parts will get used for something else. Perhaps they’ll become drawer sides or a picture frame.)
More important than the fate of the wood is that I know exactly why I failed (so there’s no need to explain it to me in the comments). And I know how to begin again.
— Christopher Schwarz