It's good to be a woodshop teacher as well as an English teacher. The palpable smells and sounds of sawdust and hand-saws mixes with the intense focus and energy of a pack of ten year olds trying desperately to cut along their laboriously measured and scribed lines. After class one day, I asked them what they accomplished. They all said they worked on their toolboxes. I asked them to be more specific about what exactly they did, and they told me, "We cut wood." I asked them one more question: "Did you cut the board all the way across?" They looked at in curious disbelief: Yes—they did cut the board all the way across. Who wouldn’t?
The English teacher in me thought that this is how we need to approach our writing. We don't have to make a tremendous project everyday, but we should, at the very least, cut a metaphorical board all the way across; we should get from the start to the finish of our thoughts, and we should follow our thinking long enough to create a complete thought—a board cut all the way through—a line finished. Whenever, wherever, and whatever you write, don't stop until you've finished cutting along the line. Make everything you write, no matter how brief, have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you are writing a song, finish a verse; if you are writing a story, finish a scene; if you are writing in your journal, finish what you are describing or thinking. Always leave your page with some semblance of success, be it a large or small success because something in me is convinced that getting from the beginning to the end is the life-blood of a writer and a thinker. It is up to us to make the time and make it a practice to cut the board all the way across and finish what we start.
So tell the whole story: mark your line; make your cut, and leave only the sawdust behind.