During this year’s March SOL Writing Challenge I decided that if I were to continue writing after the magical month was over I needed a plan. Every one of the last seven years I said I would keep writing. And every one of the last seven years I have … not. So I created a schedule of sorts and posted it here to remind myself how I could keep writing. So far so good. Until today.
My plan for every Friday (or Saturday) is to revise a piece I have already posted. When I was teaching, I learned from the master, Lucy Calkins, that editing involves taking a piece that is already good and making it better. Until then I thought the best way to edit was to take a piece that you knew needed improvement and to work on it.
But true editing is much harder than making a needy piece of writing better. In the spirit of “good is the enemy of great,” it is easy to read something and bask in the glow of its worth, and much more difficult to dig deeper and determine what additions and (gasp!) what deletions would make it the best it could be.
I have been re-reading stories from our family’s history and heart, I have been basking in that glow a bit too much. I am having a hard time choosing what to edit. Yet I am learning another lesson – as much as writing adds to my life, it also removes, or overrides, or eclipses other things. You can’t do it all. If I am to spend time writing, that time is taken away from other things. So there are also choices here to be made.
We all have tasks, gifts, and service that we were created by God to do. The more time we choose to spend digging deeper to find what to add or more importantly (gasp!) what to delete, the easier we can make better choices about exactly what deserves our precious time.
Today I am learning how we can edit OURSELVES to be the best that we can be.