Revising the Summer

If I could, I would.  Revise this past summer, that is.   In the last month or so, I spent a great deal of time writing, but not writing what I would deem, quality material.   But I also spent a lot of time worrying about not writing quality material.  And that, of course, is a waste of time.

This past week, under the guidance of poets Gabriel Welsch and Ted Kooser (in separate classes), I have learned about the placement of metaphors and the art of the line.  I’ve even had an epiphany or two about my own writing.  Yesterday, when I faced the daunting task of gathering my notes and poetry drafts from the summer, I looked through all my work, and found that my first response was that I was disappointed in myself.  I had wanted to write enough new poems to finish my collection, and that simply did not happen.  

But then I thought a lot about what I have learned, especially this past week — that good writing takes time, and that while it is important to write every day, it’s also important to understand that much of what one writes is not very good.  And that’s okay, too.

I have a new textbook for one of my fall classes.  Included in this textbook is an essay titled “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott.  Now, I have read this work  before and I thinks it’s hysterical (and true!)  I’m going to use this essay during my first week of classes — I’m eager to see my students’ reactions.  For those of you who don’t know this piece, you can read it here.

1 Comment »

  1. M.J.Iuppa Said:

    Bird by Bird is a terrific text. And, that chapter is funny and so true. I agree. Sounds like you did a lot of workshops this summer, which means you took care of your writer self. Had a chance to soak up some new ideas. Sounds wonderful. It’s all percolating and will affect those summer drafts and fall and winter’s too.
    School starts in about a minute . . .are you ready?


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