On Revising

Perhaps it’s because I am done with school, or maybe I have some pent up energy from packing for the move this summer, but I’ve been really itching to write, to create. Well, actually, “itching” isn’t a strong enough word for what I’ve been feeling. It has been this need, this feeling of urgency, that feeling of “I have to do this right now or it might be too late.”

The whole story began with a silly writing prompt–the first prompt I read and accepted and from there, it has taken on a life of its own. I have the hopes of developing it into a novel. You can see the beginnings of the story here BUT be warned, the story now is almost nothing like its simple origins.

After writing the first three chapters, I found myself at an impasse, one that I couldn’t ignore.

I had to revise (*cue thunder and lighting flash*)

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 4.53.17 PM
Read: Scrap and begin again…and again.

I had to march myself back to the start and tear it down completely, before I could rebuild it.

It was frustrating and invigorating all at once.

I had to let go of some parts that I liked that no longer fit into the story that was unfolding. I had to work on the same three chapters over and over and over again even though I wanted to move ahead and write the rest. Writing, creating [what I can only hope is] beauty, has once again proven to require abandonment of myself. It requires me to let go of how I originally thought the story should be told, and approach it with a new openness and patience…and that can be annoying for me.

It is probably why I often struggle at this stage of the writing process and sometimes ignore it all together.

As I sat, frustrated at the demands of my vocation as an artist, I found myself asking, why, suddenly, was my hobby reflecting my spiritual life?

Writing is a spiritual activity, in which we, as beings created in the image and likeness of the Divine Creator, fulfill our birthright by following in His footsteps. To an artist, a lover of beauty, it is the way one can serve God and reach holiness.

John Paul II in his Letter to Artists writes: “The artist has a special relationship to beauty. In a very true sense it can be said that beauty is the vocation bestowed on him by the Creator in the gift of “artistic talent.”And, certainly, this too is a talent which ought to be made to bear fruit…”

Writing is a vocation, a path to heaven and as with all vocations, it is one that requires sacrifice. It requires time and patience, humility and love.

Most importantly, like all vocations, you won’t do it all right the first time around.

It requires revision.


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