Writing
Comments 31

Every writer has access to infinite possibilities of word arrangements

This always happens to me when I’m immersed in the writing process. The intent is always the same, to create the best draft. But I never know how many changes it’s going to take for me to say, This is the final version, and to actually mean that.

I’m working on a batch of poems I wrote years ago with the intent to finalize them. I concluded that it was necessary that years pass before I picked up those poems again and write their final versions. I was more confident in the revision/editing process this time around. I noticed I revised and edited quicker and better trusted my intuition when making those revision and editing choices. I was able to see what lines needed to be taken out. I say taken out because I didn’t delete them. I just piled them on another page in case they’re useful in the future.

I was better able to hear and see each poem’s foundation and heart. I felt more confident in bringing forth their individual meaning and beauty. Whereas before, I questioned my revision/editing choices a lot. I felt more comfortable with changing the title of a poem or leaving it untitled if I felt like it didn’t have the right title. I was able to take out many chunks of lines and words that weren’t needed with more confidence. I’d never done this with my poems before. I sometimes wondered if I was wrong for not finding ways to keep some lines when the lines decreased dramatically. Yet, after I removed the lines, I realized that I was still keeping the poem’s message.

Then I applied more writing strategies that have stuck with me over time. If I noticed that some consecutive lines didn’t have an image, I tried to figure out what image I could use to express an experience. For example, what image could I use to describe a sleepless night? I asked myself what’s the right word for what I’m trying to say here? Do I use selfless or virtuous? Do I use old or past? Do I use dull or mundane? I asked myself: how many adjectives are enough, do I use a or the, do I capitalize this letter or not, where can I add sound in this poem, and can I come up with an original way of saying things that have already been written about?

Sometimes I think that I won’t be able to find the right words to say what I want to say. I think that I’m not the writer who can write something extraordinary. Sometimes after waiting a bit and experimenting with the words, I end up surprising myself with what I write. I say this as evidence that every writer has access to infinite possibilities of word arrangements. 

What are your go-to revision and editing strategies? How has your writing process changed over the years? How do you know that you’ve completed the final draft? Leave me a comment. I’d love to talk to you about the writing process! 

With mucho cari​​ño,

Andrea

31 Comments

  1. And a new layout yet again, I see.

    I hate editing.

    I find that leaving things for a longer period of time can be either good or bad. It’s good to get some distance because you’re not as attached to those words as you were right after you first wrote them. That enables you to do some editing. Big or small. However, sometimes giving things too much time will actually make you lose the sense of the piece. Your feelings will change and it won’t feel as impactful as it did back in the day. A double-edged sword.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I recently changed it again because someone told me that I didn’t have a sign-up buttons. The new layout I chose this summer didn’t work for having sign-ups on the homepage, so I changed it again this week. I have a feeling I might make more changes soon.

      You’re very right. I’ve experienced that recently, lost the sense of a poem I wrote years ago. I wonder if it’s because I changed as well since I write or borrow from personal experience.

      How many edits/revisions/drafts do you complete before publishing a blog post or story?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Final drafts don’t exist for me. No matter how many times review it, I’ll cringe at it until I feel like I suck at expressing myself, feel bad about it, then tell myself, “Oh well, I did my best”, then publish it.

    It’s somehow highly effective for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know the feeling. I think that’s a great affirmation, doing one’s best. Your approach sounds like it’d be helpful for writers who are perfectionists. Do you write other types of writing besides blogging?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s a great idea! Reminds me of writers who carry small notebooks or jot down thoughts/ideas on their phones. I think it’s a great way to find ideas for blog posts, to document life as well, to find themes. Sometimes personal journaling and poetry. I’d like to write essays and short stories, but it’s not something that been most important. Hopefully, I give myself sometime soon to write in those forms. We’ll see!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting Andrea

    First off how are you been awhile how have things been mate

    For me writing is like breathing whether it be writing segments or lacing lyrics

    I let fire inside and my hand become one with creative flow

    here is one songs I recently laced let me know what you think and how the fragments within the story reveal to you. ?

    https://evolutionofselffeedyourhunger.wordpress.com/2021/07/05/mapping-stars-through-the-fires

    On me front been making real good strides and progress around 50-60 % got sens eof hope back I didn’t think would be possible and even some days around the flat I have been brazen not use Murphy’s Law for support.

    But not out n about or for strolls way too soon for that I highly recommend cold laser and cryostasis.

    Slainte

    Alex

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Alex, I’m doing good, getting ready for back to school. I appreciate you for asking. It’s great to hear that you got a sense of hope back. A few weeks ago I was thinking about how writing is a form of hope. You’re a dedicated writer! Take care of yourself. I wish you the best always💚🕊.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Andrea good hunting in your studies mate

        I have been busy as of late have a lot of ongoing drafts I am working on also thinking about adding another blog dedicated to hockey as well out of any other sport analytics is vital to success,
        call it Shots Fire Ice Cold wow moments you live for in awe and earth shattering knocking you from your senses mass of carnage hits.

        What do you think Andrea ?

        Hope you had a chance to see some of my new lyrics I have laced the latest being Mapping Stars through the Fires.

        I am also been busy finalizing the backgrounds for all my characters for DKD hoping to start writing and infusing the first chapter soon.

        Slainte

        Alex

        Liked by 2 people

      • A blog dedicated to hockey sounds like a great idea! Didn’t know you were a hockey fan. I think your new blog would create opportunities for you and hockey fans to connect with each other. I wish I could tell you that I’m a hockey fan, but I’m not interested in sports tbh 😆 not good at them either. Sending you my support in your writing of possibly your new blog, ongoing drafts, lyrics, and DKD. May your life be filled with so many good things and so much love always. Infinite blessings to you, Alex 💖💖💖.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Andrea I have sports embedded into my DNA, also have played at pro level for Rugby on the pitch.

        Nothing like 1000 vanquish warriors striking fear into the hearts of those stand in your way of defining Greatness .

        Yes you could say I am chameleon of many trades

        Haka Kapa O pango

        Like

  4. I am making so many changes at present in chapters of my book…and can’t decide final version. I get stuck in small details…though somewhere in my mind I know what I want but when it comes to commercial factor, I have to think a lot. All days are different when it comes to writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds exciting and fun to hear that you’re writing a book! What genre is it? What is the book about? It sounds like you have to keep a lot in consideration like the commercial factor. And it also sounds like you’re writing your book from your heart with a vision for what you want. I’m sure your readers, myself included, will be happy to read the final version you decide on! 📖💖

      Like

  5. I think we can all continue tweaking and tweaking, and what seems good one day seems less than on other days. I usually stop when I feel it might resonate with someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t seen writing that way before, on stopping when you feel it’ll resonate with someone else. I like how your approach focuses on how the reader will connect with your work and how they’ll take in the meanings of the work as a whole (versus I think I tend to over focus on the small editing/revision details).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t really have a fixed writing process, other than maintaining the goal of finishing each manuscript. The editing phase has been getting to me lately, because when editing a pantsed draft, I always have to keep in mind the chain of events I’ll have to change every time I edit a small detail. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like your approach to the writing process, that completing each manuscript is your major goal. Poetry wise, I’ve been focusing on creating/revising the poems one by one versus thinking of each as part of a collection. That makes sense! It’s interesting how one small change changes the chain of events leading to different versions. You’re welcome! 🙏

      Like

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