Understanding the Unknown by Dissecting and Exploring Your Work – Daily Quote


A classical definition of tinkering paints a picture of unskillful and clumsy effort, performed with makeshift objects, that yields less than satisfactory results. But I prefer an updated concept where tinkering explains an exploration of materials. The aim is to understand the capabilities, properties, positive attributes, and limitations of the individual components. It is an unstructured, hands-on experience that allows the tinker to think in innovative ways to discover novel solutions to current problems.

As a writer, tinkering intrigues me. Writing is difficult, but I believe there is value in a purposeful fiddling with your work. Perhaps you lift a single phrase from your draft and play with the wording and the order. You can eliminate words, mold, and shape the content until it no longer resembles the original line. Hitting on a perfectly crafted sentence is not the desired outcome. The joy is in playing and experimenting with the text.

Writers worry about the structure of sentences, scenes, chapters, and the overall story. Storyboards, post-it notes, random thoughts scribbled on a napkin, and outlines help us rewrite, rearrange, and reformat the work. It is like an architect constructing a skyscraper by laying a firm foundation, finding unexpected building materials, and re-imaging how to use bricks, cement blocks, or concrete. It introduces risk into the creation process but facing the unknown can lead to startling discoveries.

Are you tinkering with your story?


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

7 thoughts on “Understanding the Unknown by Dissecting and Exploring Your Work – Daily Quote

  1. I like this review of tinkering! It’s something that should be raised in interest, as you have done. Sometimes I tinker with my writing. Often it’s because I’m not satisfied with some small part. Sometimes I tinker three-dimensionally, too, with items that I come across. “Found art,” I guess we’re calling it.

    I hope you have a pleasant weekend.

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  2. i do so like the word tinkering, like toy making by hand, lovingly creating. I have not consciously focused on tinkering but have been revisiting my older stories and writing these past few months. Re reading an older piece brings back the memories of how I felt when I wrote it and sometimes editing it makes it more meaningful. Happy tinkering!

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    • It is a fun word, isn’t it, Gina? Revising, editing older stories sometimes feels like a slog, but when you frame it as tinkering it is almost enjoyable. Maybe I will edit the word “edit” from my to-do list and replace it with “tinker.” 🙂

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