March 16th, 2012

ppbk cover

Revision: Let's Pretend

I have figured out why I don't enjoy revision as much as creation. When I write, I fall into that dreamy, otherworldly place where time stops, where my thinking/busy mind settles, where intuition takes over. Some people find that place through drawing or dancing or windsurfing or cooking. For me, writing is what takes me there. But when I'm revising, I'm critiquing -- constantly. My thinking/critical/anxious mind decides it's the one for the job and takes over, leaving intuition and that otherworldly type of being behind. I don't like being led by the critical mind. It's not the nicest of bosses.

Last night in my writing group, I discovered something. When I was little, my brother and sister and I played imaginary games. I remember each of us adding, "And let's pretend..." hundreds of times in a given game. As we added layers to the world we were creating, we often went back and revised what we'd added before -- not from any kind of critical thought process, but from that wonderful place of "let's also pretend...."

So my goal for today, as I return to revision, is to go at it from that place of wonder and excitement, that place of childhood pretend, where everything is possible and changes can come from fun and adventure, not just critical thinking.

And then, when I've done all the revising I can do for today, I'm going to write something new. Because it's that wondrous land of time-stopping intuition that makes me feel alive.