Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life After Graduation

Here's the thing -- keep writing. And for gods' sake keep revising. Here's a quote by Adrian Blevins (poet). The "him" is Rodney Jones, another poet and a guy she studied with:

"I remember telling him in an overconfident voice no doubt that I was rewriting my poems over and over again. Sometimes thirty times, I said. Have you ever done that? He took a deep breath and said in that accent of his that makes even hard lessons sound sweet, “I don’t stop before sixty.”

Someone is going to say to me, "Gee, I can't look at every page sixty times," and I'd say, "Why not?" Sometimes revising is changing a single word. "Loathsome" for "despicable." "Preposterous" for "fantastic." Manuscripts are like babies -- they need to be handled, fussed over, and played with.

I know a novel-in-verse (or any novel) is daunting. It's long and unruly. But page-by-page not so much.
Don't let many days go by without visiting your work. You don't have to look your best. The manuscript doesn't care. But drop by even if you can only stay a little while.


  1. Like babies manuscripts do indeed need to be loved. Yes, Ron. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that a Hamline grad is writing.

  2. Oh Ron, as always you nailed it. My manuscript is my baby and needs to be handled, fussed over, and played with...and often needs it's diapers changed. Thank you, for again stating the obvious in such an inspiring way.

  3. How does a writer NOT write? That blows my mind... Anyway, write on, folks!

  4. Thanks, Ron. This is a good reminder for beginning writers. When we hear of experienced authors--such as yourself--rewriting over and over, then we shouldn't complain one bit.