Tuesday, October 9, 2012


“Roger Rosenblatt tells his students that they should be able to see the wreckage of their early drafts--the crossed-out words, phrases, sentences. ‘Slash and burn! Bombs away! Our pages should look like Dresden.”
A Year of Writing Dangerously  by Barbara Abercrombie. Day 317

Last week at Nightwriters writing workshop, I returned to creating first drafts by hand. I love the way I can see where I’ve been, how from those first notes I’ve made insertions, drawn smudgy arrows, crossed out lines, and completely deviated from my first idea. I love the writing process, the yellow pads, my stack of favored pencils. I've spent a long time revising this paragraph, but the only thing that shows are a few sentences. Lots will be lost when I push the save key and I’ll never remember how hard I tried to include “Bombs away!"

Baruch ata adonai...I don’t find it so important any more to document my life and archive my papers. I still have many drafts of long ago writings. Who will care? I've lived and experienced Dresdens. Do I really need to file and recycle the minutia of my writing any more than I need to save the trivial scabs and dead ends of my daily life and repackage them as a museum exhibit for future use? At least that’s the way I see it now. Amen

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