The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Constructing and Deconstructing

photo by Lightning Lee
(Maybe he gets all the words right the first time...)
       I'm working on a piece that needs lot of tearing apart (the crappy parts) and  a great deal of building up (the weaker and the fairly-decent parts).

      One of the "Donalds" (Graves or Murray, I can remember which) said that writing is "as much deconstruction as construction." He claims that we spend as much time scratching out and deleting as we do actually writing.  

      What is it about the revising process that you love? Or perhaps it's a relationship filled with pure venom? In that case, what is it about revising that you hate?


  1. I think you love the revising a whole lot more than i do. I enjoy it to a point. I do love the challenge of trying to find exactly the right word. But I think (for me) a lot of it should be like automatic writing, straight from the spirits to the page. if it isn't, it becomes like schoolwork, lacks the magic of suddenly appearing in a flash of purple smoke, and i get annoyed.

    Out of curiosity, I counted the lines in my most recent poem "Shoot the Ballerina." There are 42 lines. 21 of them, or exactly half, saw revision. 11 saw heavy revision. I think there is a balance I look for. If not enough comes easily, then I feel like I am forcing it, and I never flog the muse, ever. Then again, it is very often the bits that gave me the hardest tussle, and oftentimes were the last lines finished, that end up being the best ones.

    One wing made in Heaven, one wing made on the work bench, I guess.

  2. The writing and revision is all tied up together for me. I have trouble not doing both at the same time, which may be why my productivity is often slow. During NaNo last year I learned that I can write without stopping to edit, and that doing so has enormous benefits. Of course, as soon as NaNo was over I went back to my usual routine. Old habits die hard, as they say. As to loving or hating the revising process, I don't feel that strongly either way. I love to write. I need to revise. Two sides of the same coin.

  3. I love being given do-overs. Neurotic of me or not, I sometimes wish I could revise life--or at the very least, my spoken words. On the other hand, I hate the fact that I sometimes agonize over one silly word choice.


Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...