The secret to great writing is revision.
Revising our writing allows us to go deeper,
think in ways we otherwise could not, and make our work stronger and more readable. This is...
The dance of writing and rewriting
Think of writing and rewriting as two entirely distinct modes.
Mode 1: Writing
As you write from inside memory or imagination...
-Write with abandon & let the writing take you wherever it will
Mode 2: Rewriting
The trick is to step outside what you wrote and ask:
“How will a reader/audience member receive this?”
-Totally different mindset
-Try to read what you’ve written as if you are someone else
-Ask yourself: “What do I, the reader/audience member, need?”
-Be bold in revision
-Treat the draft not as sacred, but as source material
What good rewriting requires:
A total shift in orientation!
Can be jarring
Can be fun! Ideally, you find a looseness & freedom in revision (a freedom totally different from that of the original writing)
So after rewriting, how do I get back inside my work?
- Consciously shift mode
- Don’t need to forget what you learned when you stepped outside your work
- But let yourself find the energy of freedom & exploration again!