We’re in the throes of deep revision and the only way out is through.
The story itself—the emergent life inside the inspiration—is a dynamic participant in the creative process.
Revision is basically re-vising, or seeing again. The word closest to revision in English is respect. When we look a second time, then a third, fourth, and fifth, we come to know and love the complexity of what we see. There are many facets to any subject, and revision asks of us the forbearance, humility, and creativity to seek out as many facets as possible.
When we see something anew, we come to respect it. Each new perspective, each layer of understanding, deepens our regard. Seen in this light, revision is the most respectful approach to our writing—and to much else in our days.
As writers break apart single stories on the page, they also exercise this muscle of multiplicity, strengthening their capacity to withhold judgment and embrace paradox and remain open to new layers of understanding.
I’ve known many miracles, a few even supernatural and profoundly transformative. As ordinary and as human as they seem, today I want to proclaim the holy miracle of corrective lenses.
Who knows why our bodies are the way they are, fleshy and fit, broken and breaking out, male and female and the spectrum between? Who understands the indomitable nature of our souls? Creation unfurls immeasurable variety, and all of it can be transparent to this unexpected, revising love.
The funny thing is that, wrong as we are, we do belong here, and wrong as our work may be, it belongs as well. Everything is cracked, and everything is beautiful.
Revision insists that we reject the single story in favor of layered, complex, and contradictory stories. Just as intimacy and awareness break down our stereotypes, intimacy with and awareness of our material break apart our over-simplifications and half-truths.