Future MIW Kids: You’ll Never Really Finish Anything

Seriously. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my first semester as a writing minor, it’s that you will turn in every piece of work feeling as though it’s not done. It could be tweaked. It could be altered. That one sentence in the third paragraph on the fourth page is ever so slightly off, but you turn it in anyways. And you read it proudly out loud in front of the class. Because we’re writers, damnit! And writers are never finished.

And that’s ok. You aren’t alone. The sooner you accept this to be true, the sooner you’ll be able to embrace this experience for all that it is. It’s an opportunity to explore not only your writing process, your language, your structure and tone; it’s a chance to experiment with ideas and words and smash them together until you’re left with a big, beautiful dictionary collage. You’ll write things that are silly. You’ll write things that are much more significant and meaningful than you thought possible. Best of all, you’ll start thinking like a writer.

Thinking like a writer means you read sentences in your textbooks twice and ask yourself whether they could have been formed better. You admire writing in new places, like documentaries, songs, and the menu scribed in chalk at your favorite coffee shop. You become more effective in your own speech, learning how to say more in fewer words. You’ll piss your friends off by arguing about semantics, but that’s ok because now you’re thinking like a writer!

So, my advice to you is to keep an open mind. As someone who has always been told she was a good writer, and I’m sure many of you can relate to that sentiment, learning how to keep an open mind was easily my most important takeaway from this class. I realized I have so much to improve upon and becoming a writing minor was just the first step on my journey to become a better writer and thinker. You can never be done growing as a thinker. So you’ll never be done writing.

A writer is never truly finished.

I consider myself to be approximately three in "writer years." Old enough to be slapping words together but not old enough to be saying anything too profound.
I consider myself to be approximately three in “writer years.” Old enough to be slapping words together but not old enough to be saying anything too profound.
This is a photo of me and my brother (still in little potato form), c. June 1996.

4 thoughts to “Future MIW Kids: You’ll Never Really Finish Anything”

  1. Your post was both funny and comforting! Thanks for your thoughtfulness. All I want out of the writing minor is to become a better writer, so this was a nice thing to read.
    Also, you and your little potato brother are very adorable.

  2. This was beautifully written! Because my mom is an overzealous editor, I understand the “writers’s are never finished sentiment,” and that even though you may think something is truly the best it can be, it can always be better. I hope I continue to grow as a thinker and a writer in this class as well and I look forward to experimenting with all of the different kinds of writing you discussed.

  3. The idea that I’ll never finish something is a slightly scary thought. However, I’ll admit that it sadly makes a lot of sense. Writing is something that continues to change, and there are always at least one thing that I would like to tweak in the writing I have done so far. It simply means that my writing will continue to get better. If there is something that I wanted out of this semester, it was that. I’m now even more confident that this is exactly what will happen this semester. Thank you.

  4. Hi Sarah! This really resonated with me as someone who is consistently embarrassed to read my old writing. I’ve come to accept that a piece of writing will never really feel “done”, because I will always want to change things as I develop as a writer. Your blog post helps explain that this feeling actually indicates improvement in our writing, and therefore it isn’t something we should worry about.

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