Photo by RetroSupply on Unsplash

The Art of Revision

Writing to me has been cathartic throughout my entire life. There has never been a time when I wasn’t writing.

I would write a poem, short story, or similar, and then hide it away from the world because I was afraid of people seeing who I am.

Or I would let my friends see my writing, but of course, their biased opinions never helped me grow.

As I got older, I realized that writing is more than therapy for me, I enjoyed it for the artistic process, and I loved entertaining people in my way.

As such, a revision was never part of my process before. It never occurred to me that what I wrote should be polished, fine-tuned like a piano, to be something better than what I puked on the page.

One of my fears when I first started this program last year was that I wouldn’t take constructive criticism.

But as I sat and critiqued others in workshops and had them critique me, I realized that the only way I could be the best writer I am capable of being is to be open to it all.

What’s great about our workshops is that sometimes you’ll get feedback from someone about a plot point or characterization, and you think to yourself, “that’s ridiculous. It’s right there on the page!”

I tend to acknowledge those politely but never incorporate them because I don’t want anyone to be prescriptive to my work.

That’s why I never pursued journalism.

EThe editors changed everything I ever submitted for the school paper so that it didn’t sound like me anymore. I wanted complete control of whatever had my name on it.

I saw that creative writing would be the best way to do that and still allow the expelling of the demons from my brain.

I think the most challenging thing about revision is finding the time to do it. When I get my critiques back from a workshop, I put them aside in the closet.

I don’t even want to see it right away. I like to let the verbal and written criticisms percolate for as long as possible.

When I do block the time to revise, it’s because I’ve stepped away from it long enough to see it with brand new eyes, or I shared it with someone who gave me excellent criticism that I’m eager to incorporate into the work while keeping my voice.


Are you ready to consume a creative writing podcast in 10 minutes or less?

raconteuse radio pinterest

This tiny – but mighty – podcast examines how words on the page sound different when the creator brings the concepts to life. My goal is to showcase emerging voices representing their communities and chat with industry folks to show us how to break through and become published poets and authors.

Want to be featured? Submit your pitch!