On Revision

Tomorrow I head off to enjoy Writers & Words‘ first writing retreat. I’m excited to participate as an editor and on-site staffer and look forward to meeting and/or reconnecting with fellow writers as well. My plan is to continue reading Zadie Smith’s Swing Time and to begin to revise and delve deeper into “Candy, Lies, & Larceny,” which is the first chapter of my book Sonic Memories.  I’m considering the possibility of expanding my little book. I’m at the beginning of this journey, and while there will be times that I want to tear my hair out at the root, I’m down to see where it takes me. At least there are some words on the page to mix around like the folks that used to solve the word scramble on Soul Train. Good times!

Revision thoughts from the brilliant mind of Michael Eric Dyson

“The Ghost of Cornel West” by Michael Eric Dyson (New Republic: April, 19, 2015) when the following excerpt stood out for me:

The ecstasies of the spoken word, when scholarship is at stake, leave the deep reader and the long listener hungry for more. Writing is an often-painful task that can feel like the death of one’s past. Equally discomfiting is seeing one’s present commitments to truths crumble once one begins to tap away at the keyboard or scar the page with ink. Writing demands a different sort of apprenticeship to ideas than does speaking. It beckons one to revisit over an extended, or at least delayed, period the same material and to revise what one thinks. Revision is reading again and again what one writes so that one can think again and again about what one wants to say and in turn determine if better and deeper things can be said.

Is it harder for you to face the blank page or revise?





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