WRITING TIP: Embrace partial truths and acts of the spirit

Before we’ve written something, it exists as potentiality with the whole world attached to it, giving it layers of meaning. As soon as we start to write, it begins to take form and it’s difficult — or maybe even impossible — to capture the whole gestalt that exists in us and that drives us to expression. Trying to control the work doesn’t make this any easier or more possible. In “Dancing at the Edge of the World,” Ursula LeGuin put it best: “Even under the most skilled control, the words will never fully embody the vision. Even with the most sympathetic reader, the truth will falter and grow partial. Writers have to get used to launching something beautiful and watching it crash and burn. They also have to learn when to let go control, when the work takes off on its own and flies, farther than they ever planned or imagined, to places they didn’t know they knew. All makers must leave room for the acts of the spirit. But they have to work hard and carefully, and wait patiently, to deserve them.”