Friday, February 7, 2020

Celebrating Post #1300 and Revision as Re-Seeing

Before I share my thoughts on our current TeachingAuthors' theme, I want to note that this is post #1300 for our blog!

Wow! Who would have thought we'd be at this for 10+ years?! I hope all of our readers, whether newcomers or long-standing, are still finding this blog helpful. I'd LOVE if you'd share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments or email us at teachingauthors [at] gmail dot com.

Personally, I really appreciate what my fellow TeachingAuthors have shared so far on the theme of re-visioning the new year, 2020. Each post has left me with much to ponder and apply. I particularly love Gwendolyn's idea of taking a train ride (or simply "changing your environment") to gain a new perspective.

But Esther's chock-full post is the one I relate to most right now. In it, she talks of "RE-visioning" our work. That reminds me of something one of my first writing teachers, Sharon Darrow, said many years ago--that revision is about seeing with "fresh eyes,"  or what I call "re-seeing."

Image by chiplanay from Pixabay
 (Don't you love this image? It not only fits the theme, but it's SO perfect with Valentine's Day only 1 week away!)

In Esther's post, the suggestion that most hit home for me was to "look backward:"
"Return to your very first draft to take a second look at the story you were telling yourself. Then reread the subsequent drafts to see the choices you considered and the choices you made to tell that story to your intended readers."  
This is what I've been doing with my current work-in-progress (WIP), a project I started many years ago. My initial vision for it was as a series of poems. But after writing only 3-4 poems, I got cold feet. I thought the approach too unusual to be marketable. And, to be honest, I wasn't very confident in my abilities as a poet. So I switched to a more conventional approach. I've gone through many, many drafts of the straight prose version only to receive rejection after rejection. Some of the responses were encouraging, but they were rejections none the less.

Then an agent casually mentioned that the project needed a unique angle to set it apart. That's when I remembered my initial vision to write it as a series of poems. And that is the approach I'm working on now as I "press forward," as Esther says. I don't know if this will be the format that will finally sell, but for now I'm having lots of fun working on it. I'm currently experimenting with writing a poem in terza rima form. (If you're interested, you can read more about that in my latest Creativity Newsletter.)

Meanwhile, I want to remind you of a post I wrote back in 2010 that included a Wednesday Writing Workout to help you re-see a WIP in need of revision.

Don't forget to check out this week's Poetry Friday round-up hosted by former TeachingAuthor, Laura Purdie Salas.

Remember to always Write with Joy!


Jarm Del Boccio said...

Wow. Congrats on your blog’s 1,300th blogpost. That's quite an accomplishment, Carmela! Keep ’em coming. ☺️

Carol Coven Grannick said...

Congratulations! Teaching Authors has been one of my few always-read blogs (in spite of the fact that I rarely comment—I'll try to change that!), and I don't see that stopping. I also loved Esther's "Re-visioning" post, and the association with Sharon Darrow is mine, as well. I have never forgotten her talk on poetry and "re-visioning" at a long ago (one of my first) Prairie Writers'/Illustrators' Days. It's on my mind with every re-vision, and every line of poetry I scrutinize. Wishing you all well and a future full of great posts and wondering writing days!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks to you, Marti, for making these 1300 posts a REALITY!
YOU put this blog together and made it happen.
I'm especially delighted you've returned to some of your earlier writings. I have one or two special ones I'm hoping have claimed your revisioning eyes.

Leanne Pankuch said...

Congrats to all on this 1300 post! I have followed the blog since its first days and I continue to find it valuable and energizing. It has inspired and informed me as I traveled the hills and valleys of my own writing life. I even recommend the blog on my own site and to any new childrens writers I meet. Thank you to everyone at!

Carmela Martino said...

Wow, thanks everyone for the encouraging words. So lovely that my mention of Sharon Darrow is an association you have, too, Carol. And Leanne, how great that you send new writers our way--we appreciate it!
Esther, you've got me wondering which pieces you mean. :-)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carmela ~ Esther is right. You are the Captain of our Ship, and we are so glad you are. Thank you for all the thought you put into making this blog useful to others and a joyful sisterhood for us!

And I'm excited each time I read you're re-working this into a story in poems.