Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tips from the Tops Thursday -

I'm flying out the door in a few minutes to see my pal Arlo - 91 and still full of beans. After my weekly visit with him I'm taking off to lead a retreat at Dorje Denma Ling - a Buddhist retreat centre in Tatamagouche. Me and a pal are facilitating a program called Circles of Transformation. I'm really looking forward to it. I love being at DDL where the air is crisp and the stars hang so low in the sky you could almost pluck them and put them in your basket. I like hearing the coyotes yipping in the early dawn and just being on land that has held so many sacred gatherings, promoted so much sanity.
But I didn't want to forget that today is Tips from the Tops. So here goes:

Tip: when you've just finished a long revision process and you have another to do - spend some time each day creating something new before you start revising.

Top: Sue Goyette, poet and novelist and pal of mine.

In Action: Yesterday I met with Sue for coffee. She's off to teach for two weeks in Alberta and I had a tool I thought she might employ - a visualization that I'd recently learned. Before we got to that we caught up. I told her I was finished True and sending out packages. I also told her how invigorating it had been to do the A to Zed, creating little nuggets of stories. She asked what was next for me and I said that I wanted to revise The Rock Walker and get it ready to go. She frowned just a little and then said something like, "why don't you spend part of the day writing something new and then put some of the time into the revision after you've done that?" Right! I was going to slog right through from one revision to another. Don't misunderstand me - I really really like revising but it ain't creating whole out of blank paper. It doesn't hold that zing that you get when you've got new characters up to their tricks, new plot twists and so forth. So, if any of you have been in this same situation of having several books needing revision - mix it up. I'm going to.
Thanks Sue and have fun in Alberta!


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I hope you have a wonderful experience with Circles of Transformation! The place sounds lovely.

Thanks also for the "tip from the top." It is so wise to give oneself opportunities to keep creating new things. Otherwise revision is a lot too onerous and can even get stale.

Liza said...

Glad you posted this. You reminded me that yesterday I read a blog that had a bunch of writing prompts and I thought I'd give one a try. I'm in revision-land too. It's important to practice the craft that led us there! Have a lovely trip.

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