A few weeks back I gave out some practical revision ideas, but today I want to examine a more nuanced way to look at revision.
|My walk in the summer and fall.|
Every day I try to take a walk. Usually I’m taking the same walk, retracing my footsteps. It’s a good walk, part exercise, part meditation; I use my walking time to let my brain ruminate on my current project, and more often than not, that rumination is fruitful.
In fact I find that I reach a breakthrough idea at about the same point every walk - that must be the place where my brain relaxes into my physical exertion and my internal editor goes on vacation, because I come up with my best ideas as I reach that rock, that tree.
Today, while walking this route, I could see the imprint of yesterday’s walk in the fresh snow. I put my foot in the same imprint at times; at times, I moved away for easier footing or a more direct route. Sometimes I moved even further, if I heard or saw something of interest that I could incorporate into my walk, weaving a deer sighting or a wolf track into the thread of this walk and into memory.
|Winter dawn at my new Bozeman house...just because.|
This is how I see revision. I walk in the footsteps of my previous work. Sometimes I work to make something more direct. Sometimes I clarify. And sometimes I find an entirely new thread, a new path, or a new and exciting interest.
I love revising, almost as much as I love walking. The generation of work is exciting, just as walking a new route can be a thrill. But walking the same route every day is a pleasure of a different kind – awakening my senses and sharpening my focus.
So I’m off to revise...right after my walk!