birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Are almost, were almost

Almost is an incredibly powerful word. It has the power to motivate or to discourage, depending on its context.

So much of the power of almost depends on whether we are looking forward or looking back.

Almost can mean we are nearly there, nearly finished, that our goal is close to being within our reach. It encourages us to keep going, to give it more than we think we have. We are almost there and only need our last bit of effort and attention to get the job done.

As we continue to strive, almost tells us we are on the verge of overcoming our last challenges. Almost can be a signal not to allow any last small difficulty to stop us from succeeding.

Almost taps into our motivation to achieve and accomplish. It emphasizes how far we have already come and how little still stands in our way.

We are almost there.

On the other hand, after the fact, almost can tell us that no matter how hard we worked and how close we came to success, we failed. We almost made it, but we did not.

Almost succeeding means we did not succeed.

Looking back, we can see the mistakes we made and the reasons we stopped short. If we had worked harder, been smarter, known more, how we could have overcome the obstacles?

We came so close, and may never have an opportunity to try again.

We were almost there.