Release the butterfly within

How do I let my project become its most beautiful embodiment of the idea I’ve been developing throughout the writing process?

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Photo Credit: Catherine Keefe

How do I effectively revise?

Students ask this, and it’s also a question I frequently ask myself.

It seems as if each writing project demands its own unique revision strategies.

I put what I’m working on away for several days or weeks, or months, if possible. I invite a few trusted readers to offer feedback.I read each line aloud, often in a British or Southern accent, to Chester my ever-patient Labrador retriever. It’s amazing how I will skip bad lines to spare his ears.

Leslie Pietrzyk, one of my favorite writing bloggers, dedicates her post today to “Strategies for Revision.” It offers something for everyone.

Some ideas are new to me.

Print out your manuscript in a different font.

Others are oft-heard which doesn’t mean the ideas are stale, but rather so effective they bear oft-repeating.

I go somewhere else to do my paper revising. Away from my writing desk, with my red pen in hand, my mind snaps into a different focus…

You can read the entire post here, “Strategies for Revision,” on Leslie’s blog, Work-in-Progress.

If you have any other effective revision methods, I’d love to hear about them.

About Catherine Keefe

Catherine Keefe is the founding and managing editor of *dirtcakes* a journal of poetry, creative nonfiction, art and photography. Her creative nonfiction essays, interviews and book reviews have appeared nationally. She teaches undergraduates how to Write About Literature, or Write Creative Nonfiction, or Compose Self at Chapman University in Orange, CA.
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