Can you ever complete your creative writing?

Have you ever completed your work as a creative writer? I always do not know when I should stop editing…

Mai(はな)
Jun 12, 2019 · 3 min read

I used to do painting at college, both water painting and oil painting, but I preferred oil painting, somehow. However, I never knew when I should say, “I have completed this!”

Water painting can bring some effect by the layers of colours. After you put another coat of paint on the first coat, the colour beneath is still visible through the second one. Because you could just make a mess, if you put too much, so you have to know when you should stop.

When it comes to oil painting, you can continue to paint over and over. Because oil painting is so opaque and thick you cannot see the colour underneath when you put another coat on it. It means that you can modify it and re-paint it as many times as you want, which is nice in a way and fun, but you never know when it’s finished.

I started creative writing in Japanese at the beginning of 2019, after 4 years of blogging. I posted each chapter on my blog site to see the audience’s reaction. I collected all of the chapters to put into a book after I finished writing the whole of the story, edited it, then self-published as an e-book on Amazon. So far, the way I am doing it helps me objectively read my writing. But the problem is, I have never had a feeling like: “I have completed my work!”

Re-reading and editing is never-ending work. Every time I look at the story I wrote, I have something to add or erase. I don’t know where to stop editing, just like an oil painting. I was always surrounded by uncompleted paintings when I was a student at art school and I now have plenty of written stories which I never know whether I have finished or not.

Even after self-publishing an e-book on Amazon, you can modify it again and re-publish. If the change is a tiny detail, the readers might not realise what the difference is. However, I cannot stop doing it.

I imagine that creative writers have to draw a line somewhere, and stop editing or pass it to professional editors, but I like this feeling of having lots of stories around me which are still alive and active, going on simultaneously. I am still sitting in a messy and chaotic space as I live with my imperfect paintings.

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Mai(はな)

Written by

Used to be named as Hana. A Japanese born blogger and writer who currently lives in Canada. https://japanesque-cafe.com/

Japanese writer

A view from Japanese writer, about Japan, to decode its society and to glimpse the culture.

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