Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Today's Metaphor for Revision

Here's a project I should have been helping more with. Except I've been indoors, revising.
















But I think what I've been doing is a lot like what's going on with this tree. Here's why.
* Sometimes you have a tree and what you need is firewood, so you take out a tree.
* Sometimes a tree falls down and you might as well cut it up (lemonade from lemons, as it were).
* Sometimes a tree hasn't quite fallen down yet but when it does, it'll destroy other stuff so you take it down and since it's down, why not make firewood.
* Sometimes a tree dies and you leave it standing because the birds find it useful.
* Sometimes you have a tree.

The thing is, it's your tree--your life experience. You decide what to do about it. You don't even have to write about it.

But if you want to write about your life experience, sometimes you have to revise the hell out of your original work. Or so I've found.

The work is improving in its new form--either through fifteen to twenty years of seasoning and perspective that lets me see and shape it more clearly, or because I just have more skill. Or both.

So. Sometimes revising is "fixing," but sometimes it's "felling" and "sawing." So I think today, at least.