R: Revision, Recast, and Reflection

creative writing

Revision: do over, make better, spend time and watch it grow.

My introduction to writing for college involved either cursive on lined paper or awkward efforts on a typewriter. A college roommate earned a good income typing papers. He was efficient, able to edit the grammar and mechanics as he rolled through page after page. My typing was painfully slow and prone to errors. When I make a mistake (as I often do here) I can simply delete it and fix the line. With a handwritten page or typed page it means a wholesale do over.

Problem: the student writes a draft and the teacher marks it up. “Here, go fix these errors.” The poor kid realizes he has to write the whole damn paper over because of 3 errant sentences. Solution: “Good paper, so rewrite these 3 sentences at the bottom of the page and I’ll take it.

In the mid nineties when computers were gaining critical mass in the high school district we learned that 90% plus of the incoming freshpersons one year had computers. This changed how we could teach writing and research. Revisions were less a trauma than in the dark old days of the 1980’s.


Revision = seeing again. Memories, names and dates the details of what was said; all these are subject to revision. I now casually accept that I often remember events in great detail but very little accuracy. Wisdom tells me that when my wife corrects me go with her version of events because she’s more accurate. Wisdom seeks harmony. Some things are not worth remembering and some memories need revision fact-free; remember I am a writer.

Reflection: this is the gift I find in these blogs—the need to reflect on what matters and not, what I value and what I see as play. What have I learned? Reflection is how I grow and how I learn who I am.


This blog challenge is forces reflection. People write about their travels, observations about life and people in their lives and what matters. I can’t always come up with a theme for the letter of the day, but tangential issues swirl around in my imagination all the time. Facing the page and forcing myself to write is not a lost moment in time, it is life itself. Yes, I have revised and recast this blog a few times. Do you revise and rework your blogs here. Why do you read the blogs? Why are you a part of this challenge? Really. And now I see where I’d like to do some more Revision. Grin.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. heyannis
    Nov 24, 2014 @ 20:15:23

    Yes. Reflection. We get to do that and remember and re-feel long-gone emotions. And, we get to revise our life story and make it new, daring, different, meaningful. Thank you, Terry. One thing reading each others’ blogs does for me is it gives me new perspectives to consider. xoA



  2. Terry Redman
    Nov 24, 2014 @ 22:32:39

    You got that right about reading other blogs and new perspectives. Revision is satisfying when done right–a core principle of our critique group. thanks for passing by. TR



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