Can it ever be perfect? Can I make a sentence/paragraph/page turn in such a way as to allow me the writer to feel that sense of wonder – did I do that? – a wonder not to be marred later by a re-reading and the more often than not inevitable realization that something could have been improved upon.

Unlike the ephemeral arts – music, cooking – writing lingers, lurking, to shame us into that embarrassed realization that what at first blush seemed wonderful – nay marvelous – is in fact only mediocre or ordinary. That sentence that seemed so sharp and well crafted seems clunky and rough, an approximation of a thought rather than the crystallization of one.

Writing is a fierce mistress and an unforgiving one. So why write?


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