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Writing and Letting Go

The issue with writing something is that it’s never going to be finished. Paul Valéry, a French poet and philosopher, once said, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” This also applies to stories. One of my creative writing professors used to remind the class of this all the time. 

No matter how much you edit something, eventually you’re going to have to let it go. It might be painful (and stressful), but you have to move on and start on something new. Otherwise, you’re going to be staring at the same document FOREVER, full of misery and depression. I always think about this after editing a chapter or a short story.

Sometimes I still stress out over scenes that I had in my manuscript. In fact, I cannot count how many times I stayed awake in bed thinking about those scenes. Then I would remember that I already took them out. Guuuys, this happens to me all the time! I took out so many cringe-worthy scenes that kept me up at night. Some of them were also chunks of dialogue that had me staring at my laptop screen in utter horror. I wish I was kidding. 

The bottom line is: a creative piece of work is never going to be perfect, because really, what does it mean to be perfect? What does it mean to have zero flaws? No matter how “perfect” something is, it will always need improvement. We just need to learn to let it go. 

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