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Come to an End

By Will Eichler

When I was a sophomore in college, one of my English classes had a long discussion on the nature of writing. An article we had read had posited that writing is naturally an uncertain process. The author of the piece said that a writer never truly knows where their writing is going until it has gotten there, and while I suppose there is some truth to that, I do not believe that writing is inherently uncertain. I think writing has a concrete quality to it that means there is always an end in sight. I may start a sentence and not necessarily know where it’s going, but I do know that it will eventually end. I may start an idea for a story or poem and not know what to do with it, but I know that one way or another I will eventually be done with it. Sometimes that will be because I have completed what I wanted to work on, other times it will be because I decide that it is not worth pursuing, sometimes I might just forget about it. Regardless, that piece of writing will have found its end. Writing requires an endpoint, just like every sentence requires punctuation. Without an end, something is lost. The potential for a piece to be more will always be there but it will hang in the air like an awkward silence. The potential becomes a broken promise, and then that piece of writing will have an end forced upon it that was not meant to be there. So, the next time you pick a pen, or sit at a keyboard, be sure that you are ready to keep going until you find yourself at your writing’s end, because you, your writing, and the reader will be better for it.

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