I taught a wonderful class on revision yesterday. And today’s song played a supporting role.
One of the concepts my writers always have trouble grasping is Rest. I mean, they know what it is, what it means. They just fail to see how it applies to them.
Surely some hack with no sense of shame could leave a first draft in an imperfect state, I can almost hear them thinking. But not me. Or if they’re fresh out of academia, Not I.
But the truth is, we need distance because we demonstrate time and again that we are highly subjective judges of our own work. We think a first draft sucks when actually it contains some true gems. We think something is brilliant when it’s drek.
That’s why I built two time-outs into my revision process: Rest after the first draft and Revisit after the second.
But that word—revisit—implies that you have left at some point and now return. Or, as Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks croon:
How can I miss you when you won’t go away?
I learned that song from an ex. In retrospect, perhaps I should have worried about our relationship sooner. But in any event, it’s a fun song, and this is a rollicking live rendition of it.
Enjoy your song for this Sunday.