The big failure? I’ve failed by not giving myself permission to start over. I kept tinkering with the first novel manuscript I ever wrote — I can fix this — instead of moving on to the next one, and then coming back later with what I’d learned. I kept going back, looking for the mistakes, instead of doing the things it would take to learn to recognize mistakes. Kept whittling away, for a long, long time before I finally sat down and wrote the next novel. I’m still revising that first one — more a point of pride than a rational choice — but once I did start writing the next one, and the next, I began making progress.