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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Monday, January 29, 2007

All Good Writing Dies When The Last Period Is Hammered Into Place

It would be wrong to interpret Dead Beat's thesis that all good writing dies when the last period is hammered into place as an incitement for murder.

There are enough writers out there murdering their work with little regard.

No, what Dead Beat is talking about is a natural death.

A really fine piece of writing dies naturally once it is completed. It stops breathing, and its heart stops beating.

It enters then, I guess, the afterlife where it can be read, interpretted, reinterpretted. But it cannot be relived. It can be experienced in new ways, and much can be learned from it, but it is nevertheless a thing of the past.

The important thing for writers therefore is to bring their work all the way to its conclusion. To live out each and every breath in the writing and rewriting, to leave no aspect of its life unlived.

Whether it be a poem or a story, a memoir or a novel, an essay or a script the writer must stay with it to the end, listen out for its last breath, feel its final pulse. Then and only then can it be let go.

Don't grieve for too long - find another piece of writing - guide it to its death.

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