Make Visible: Revising
This article was part of the PDF for our Poetry Workshop at the Muse Online Writers Conference earlier this October.
When I first started writing and for a good twenty years after that I never revised my poetry. It never occurred to me to do so. At an earlier Muse Conference I was introduced to revision in one of the poetry workshops. Not just punctuation or line spacing, but real revision. This can include taking a small part of a poem, a scene or image, and expanding on that to create a whole new poem. Sometimes you need fresh eyes to help you with your revising. That’s where belonging to a poetry critique group can help. Remember it’s up to you to re-see your poem. Don’t depend on others to tell you what’s wrong or right with your poem. Those may sound like two different pieces of advice. Others can point you in the right direction, but you yourself are responsible for how your poem turns out. Only you can decide when it’s finished and ready to go out into the world.
“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director
This reminds me of something Eric Maisel wrote in Fearless Creating, I think. He says it helps to know what kind of feedback you need for your work at various stages. That increases your chances of getting useful input. Great point, be responsible for knowing where you are.
Thank you, Lisa. I’m glad you got something out of the blog post!