No Such Thing as Final

Somewhere near the end of the creative process, a client will often send me a “final” version of some document. Why do they call it “final”? They mean, of course, that they are finished with it. It’s now ready to publish. Done.


There is a certain rush that comes from putting that word in a file name. It is a sort of celebration of moving the idea from the inbox to the outbox. Score.

Not So Fast

But it’s never final. Invariably someone in the content development chain revises it (often someone on my team). And then what is it? Final final? Final version 2? And even if we publish it now with no further editing, it is bound to be revised after it’s published. And then it gets further re-purposing when the idea switches mediums (web to print to video to presentation to audio to…).


Creative work is just like that—always in process. It can always be better. You can nip here, tuck there, and you’re always making it a step closer to final, but never quite getting there. Any creative can tell you that. You’re never finished, but you publish anyway.

Maybe come up with another way to celebrate. Ring a bell. Toot a horn. Pop a chocolate. Shout a “booyah!” Do something authentic. Just don’t go thinking it’s really done.

Final Thoughts

This post is dedicated to all the great folks who send us final versions. Love you guys. Keep writing, it’s getting better.

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