WRITING TIP: Be satisfied with the incomplete

freewritingWriting is a process of discovery, and our first attempts are usually incomplete and full of holes. This is natural when we are attempting to convey something that comes from an urge deeper than our surface self. The task can feel beyond us. In this case, it is helpful to remember that every piece of writing is necessarily incomplete — that is what compels us to write the next piece. And because of the partial quality of all written work, it is possible to find fault with everything ever written. No matter how skilled we are as writers, we will never be able to write well enough to get beyond the limits of our human perceptions, and that is perfectly okay. “Nothing would be done at all,” said John Henry Cardinal Newman, “if a man waited till he could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.”