The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mary Karr---A Persistent Rewriter

      Two days ago, I was lucky enough to sit in and hear Mary Karr at our local library.  For those who have never read her earlier Cherry or The Liar's Club, they are both incredibly moving memoirs.

       Her most recent is Lit, which chronicles her recovery as an alcoholic.  While she is combating depression and a dysFUNctional family, she find religion... (This is my favorite of the trio.)

       During the lecture, Karr spoke of not being a very good writer.  Instead, she claims, she is a very persistent rewriter. 

      Being committed to the piece...being determined to make the writing the best it can be...Mary Karr said she threw away 2,000 finished pages in the 7 years she worked on Lit.  Writers, once they fill up a page with text, hate to throw it away.  However, to hone the story or poem until it is razor-sharp takes a willingness to deconstruct, and a willingness to divorce yourself from pages and parts, forgetting about the effort involved.

       So, be persistent in your rewriting.  And check out Mary Karr's memoirs (as well as her books of poetry).

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