Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

Today's quote is from Ivan Turgenev, a Russian author. I am not familiar with his work.

But I like this quote.

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.

Isn't that so true? Don't we as writers sometimes write then rewrite and rewrite and revise and revise and polish and scrub until our fingers are worn down to the nub? And still we are not satisfied. Still we think, "It is not ready." "It is not quite finished."

The truth of the matter is, nothing any of us writes is every really finished. Something can ALWAYS be added or taken away; a word here, a comma wait, that chapter needs work and there's something not right with that conversation and maybe there's too much description here....

I believe it was the Navajo who, when weaving a rug (or other fabric and perhaps when doing pottery as well) made a deliberate mistake because only the Great Spirit makes things perfectly.

We should keep that in mind.

I do have some kind of sense when something is as polished as I can get it. It's intangible, I can't describe it or label it. There just comes a point where I say, that's it, I'm done. I also know nothing I've written is totally perfect.

What about you? Do you have a point when you know/sense your work is done? That it's as good as you can make it? Are you ever complete satisfied?


  1. Great quote. And also this: "only the Great Spirit make things perfectly."

    I send things out when I'm satisfied, when it's the best I can make it on my own. And believe me, I've wanted to revise things that are in print ... my own words and others' works. But there comes a time to let all things go.

  2. Love the quote, love this post! I don't think I am ever satisfied with my writing. When I come to a point when I am pretty sure that I am done, I send it off. Seconds later I want to revisit the project. This is why I never read my books from cover to cover once they are published. : )

  3. I think having good critiquers helps a lot in the "knowing when its done." I think I could tinker endlessly and never put a project out there to be evaluated by the industry if they weren't encouraging me and challenging me in all the right ways.

  4. That quote totally applies to my house right now too. I'm trying to get it just perfect before we list it for sale. I finally just made appts for realtors to interview them to force me to be ready as I'll ever be to show the house!

  5. I go back and forth, there are moments when I have that feeling that comes over me, I know I've created something magical and it's complete. There are other moments when I know it's right, I just don't get that feeling of rightness, even though I long for it.

    Beautiful quote though, so true, and it's nice to remind us to just go for it and not look back.

  6. So funny you ask this because I ust re-read and made all sorts of changes AGAIN to my WIP. You're so right, we can always change something. The challenge is to know when to put it down or hand it off.

    I love what you wrote about the Navajo and only the great spirit doing things perfectly. That's beautiful.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!