Writing is a living thing.

Something I’ve learned this past week, while looking through my old and ongoing projects, is that a piece of writing or an idea, whether published or not, is an ever changing, living thing. Just because something is in print, either in draft or book form, does not mean that it is 100% finito. Looking back on ideas I’ve had and writing I’ve done, even stuff I thought I would never look at again except maybe to polish for an agent or publisher, I can’t help but think of ways to improve it. This, I know, is both a blessing and a curse, but more than either of those two things, it is simply a fact of being a writer, published, produced or not. It is almost freeing to know that nothing is ever actually finished. All that makes it “complete” is a deadline. On a similar line of thought, the quality of a “completed” project is not necessarily “the best” but “the best that can be done at the time”, which brings a concrete human element to the chaos that can be the creative process, making that process all the more beautiful in its failure to attain the unattainable – perfection.

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About jtkwriting

Writer living in Toronto. "Sneak out of your window darling, let's live like outlaws honey." View all posts by jtkwriting

2 responses to “Writing is a living thing.

  • janiese

    I hope you didn’t mind me browsing through your post. I am new to Word press, and to blogging. I desire to get my work published. It’s not about the money, but if the money comes-that’ great. I write for pleasure, and writing is, “A living thing.” I agree, with how a particular writing may be on hold for awhile. Then you pick it up to improve it.

  • greenlivetrees

    I think over-editing is more of a curse than a blessing, but I do agree that you can always improve a piece of writing. I really like deadlines, because that’s the only way I could ever consider something “good enough” and stop trying to make it perfect.

    However, when it comes to poetry, I think it’s almost impossible to edit and that you shouldn’t even try. Poetry flows out to capture a moment in time. Poetry captures emotions that you may not even acknowledge for years to come. That’s why it’s important to let it follow its course. I am trying to figure out if and how poems are living things. As time passes, they still seem to be snapshots of yourself and sometimes you may even remember the moment you wrote them. So, I guess, that’s one of the most beautiful things about poetry. If you want to time travel and be 17 again, you can take a look at the poems you wrote in high school. No matter how melodramatic they may seem now, that’s who you were at 17. That’s why I find it hard to read over what I wrote at difficult points in my life. I always wish I could build a time machine so that the 30 year old me could go back and give hugs to myself at 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, and so on. Sorry, this got a little too personal. I will stop here.

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