Bloodroot, trillium, trout lily, rue anemone—with all my favorite spring wildflowers blooming, I’d gladly stay outside all day. Spring: my favorite time of year. I keep finding myself singing.
Joy makes any work easier, including revision. If you have to revise, do it in spring!
I’m revising a nonfiction picture book on a topic dear to my heart. Each day, I start from the beginning and write the whole thing out longhand in my notebook—not a difficult task physically because it’s only two or three pages long, depending on which draft you count. But I strain to find the best words, dredge up appropriate images, locate the best possible way to say what I want to say. I stop from time to time to question exactly what I want to say. My brain is tired. I sleep well. I wake up refreshed, rarin’ to go, eager to get to my notebook. If you have to revise, do it first thing in the morning.
Writing the whole manuscript over and over is the best way I’ve found to revise. If a word is wrong or a sentence is out of place, I can’t ignore it and keep going like I could if I were looking at a computer screen. I can’t rewrite the wrong words. I have to stop and face them before I move on. I might address the same nitpicky issue day after day for a week or longer until I’m satisfied. It feels like work. I’m tired when I finish, but it’s a good tired, the tired of accomplishment. All is well, or at least heading in the right direction.
Be sure to read Mary Ann’s post about her 400-page first draft, the first in this Teaching Authors series on Revision.
Here’s a poem I found outside our kitchen window:
white-throated sparrowI’m happy to announce the three winners of our Seventh Blogiversary Book Giveaway: Marty C, Louann M, and Damon D. Congratulations!
under busy bird feeder
pecks at its shadow
Reflections on the Teche. Enjoy!
JoAnn Early Macken