There hasn’t been much activity here for a few weeks. For very good reason. The writing effort has been directed full-time to finishing the novel. A few days ago the last chapter was written. Not actually the last chapter of the novel but the final one created. Yesterday , after a few formatting issues, the manuscript went off to reviewers. Now I sit and wait for their raves or their condemnations. Seriously hoping for the former.

Because when I say ‘Finished!’, it doesn’t really mean finished, does it? What writer, what artist in any field, ever truly feels that the work is finished, that it cannot be made better, that they have achieved perfection, a final statement that cannot in any way be added to or improved?

We’re accustomed to the idea that new editions of non-fictional writing will most likely have revisions and updates, but I wonder how many readers are aware that fictional works are also frequently revised in new editions? Some writers can’t resist tinkering with their work. Joseph Conrad was notorious for making changes in every new printing of his novels. We have multiple versions of Shakespeare’s plays. Hollywood is forever remaking successful movies. Was there really a need to redo “The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo”?

Beyond the realm of writing and other artistic endeavour there are perhaps more profound indications that no creative artist is ever finally satisfied with their work. We’ve all heard the joke about how God made Eve because he wasn’t quite happy with the first model, Adam. More significantly, He must have felt something was wrong with His creation that it needed Him to send Jesus to fix it up.

Finished? No, I don’t think so. Only for certain values of the word. But not ultimately. There must come a point where we arrive and say enough is enough, already. Some moment when we stop and decide that this is as good as it gets — in my world at least.


Enough for the Day

His hand opened.

In it he discovered

Patterns of lines,

Description of what he could make,

Image of himself.

So why not?

Let me make a being,

A life to inhabit a world,

Someone like me,

But not me.

The grid lines in his palm

Sorted into a man.

But it was not enough,

Not all there could be.

He closed his fist.

Then, opening it again,

He found what he needed.

Now he had both,

A man and a woman.

It was enough.

What he had

Was enough.


Ruari Jack Hughes