Final Draft

[W]riting is fundamentally about the final draft. … A writer explores, and as he explores, he purposely forgets the way he came. I’m reminded of how the word “essay” derives from the French “essayer,” a verb meaning “to try.” It was coined in the late 16th century by Michel de Montaigne, in many ways the father of the form. Montaigne wrote as a kind of maieutic exercise, a way of drawing his thoughts into the light of day, of discovering what he wanted to say as he said it.

James Somers