Revision and Re-visioning is what we do

Revision and play have been on my mind this month, as I work with my Monthly Mentee writers taking the deep dive into finding the sentences “hidden inside” the ones we’re making. So much of the writing life, both on and off the page, is about ways of seeing. What’s there? What’s really there? What’s missing and how might that be more powerful than what, at first, grabs our attention?

One particularly useful conversation about revision seems to come up again and again, so I’ve found some past writing I did about this that is publicly accessible, and I want to share it now. The first two links will take you to blog posts that tell you a story about the “prose police” (and how they didn’t, but maybe almost might have, arrest me). The second will tell you that same story, in a slightly compressed and more true-to-life form, via an 18-minute radio interview excerpt. All three links will work in concert together, informing you about process, creativity, and life!

Writers don’t own the copyright on revision. Humans constantly re-vision themselves: family traditions change, personal goals shift, professional circumstances stretch us. What are you “revising” as we enter the early dark days of winter? Where is it helpful to think about change as an invitation to re-envision something? Where is it helpful to think about change as an invitation to completely walk away? I’m curious how you navigate these opportunities during this remarkably odd, provocative time in our society.

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