When Writing Gets Difficult: Chasing Perfection

I'm planning on using all or part of Act I of my novel as my writing sample when applying to low-residency MFA programs, or maybe not. It gives gatekeepers an opportunity to judge my novel writing abilities, and I can leave them wanting more by ending the sample at a critical moment in the story. This could work for or against me. 

I read a blog post in which, if I recall correctly, a few MFA professors said they didn't like getting novel samples because it was too distracting to be left hanging. There might have been other reasons, but I can't remember them now. 

So I'm torn. (Really. I'm pulling my hair out.)

Maybe I'm making this harder than it is, but I agonize over every little aspect of applying. I only get one shot--with each program I apply to--at wowing them enough that they will seriously consider me for their program. And, let me be candid, the more I learn about what makes good writing and the more I practice the art and craft of writing, the worse I feel my writing skills are. Put another way, the harder it is to write.

Recently I saw a quote from Tim O'Brien making the rounds on Twitter: "Writing doesn't get easier with experience. The more you know, the harder it is to write." At least I know I'm not alone. 

I just have one other problem. I'm never done tweaking. Every time I reread my work, I find something else I can make better; a word, a phrase, a typo... Is it EVER finished? There comes a time to let go anyway.

Do you find good writing gets harder the more you practice and learn?

Do you have any experience to share about applying to MFA programs?

If you enjoyed reading this you might also enjoy:

Being There for Your Dreams: Organizing the Creative Life

Prioritizing Tasks & Activities: Sometimes the Boring Stuff is the Container of the Well of Creativity
One Key to Increasing Creativity: Improv
Books Have Signatures - Should Writers?
For a Better Quality Break Time: Creativity Enhancing Goodies

eSolutions for Social Media Addictions
How to Get Back to a Daily Writing Habit After a Break