Saturday, March 16, 2019


This post is for Day 16 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.

I have been thinking about revision lately.

When I was in the classroom, it was sometimes difficult to get elementary writers to revise. When first graders wrote, it was as though their words were written in concrete. Permanently etched.
Difficult to change or remove. Even more difficult to stretch by adding words and thoughts. 

When third graders wrote, they were open to thinking another way or adding descriptive words to their writing. Using mentor texts helped them see there were other ways to say things. Sharing other's writing helped them to see new ways to approach their writing.

When I worked with fifth graders, they were much more eager to recognize the ways they could improve their writing. They were more playful and interested in trying new words, extending their writing or focusing on smaller moments in their writing.

Is it because writers move from a self-centered approach to a more sophisticated way of thinking about writing? Teachers everywhere are doing outstanding jobs of supporting young writers and move them toward more independent thinking as they write. 

In my own writing, I will always find revising difficult. It's stepping away from the words and reading them as another person would. But, as writers, we are so attached to our words and thoughts.

I posted on March 14 (My Remembering Place) with the intent of continuing to work on the piece over time. On March 15, I made changes and posted the revised version. But I had not stepped very far away from the piece. I need time. I need to give my writing some space to breathe. I need to come back to my writing when the actual words do not mean so much to me. 

I will revisit the post another time in the future. I need distance. I need time. I need to be open to making those revisions that I think can be made.

How do you feel about revision? How do you put yourself in a place where revision is possible?


  1. I totally agree that we sometimes need space between composing and revising when we don't feel such an emotional tie to the writing and can see it with fresh eyes and revision doesn't seem like a betrayal to those words we so carefully crafted. I don't always think that's even a conscious thing, our brains just fill in the blanks for any confusions or vagueness. I lose perspective if I'm so invested and try to revise without some distance.

    1. I think that is my problem with my last two posts. I am too emotionally tied to the piece. I will revisit my writing at some point. Thanks, Paula.

  2. Sometimes I think about revision through a single lens: I'm going to work on the verbs. Or the description. Then I don't have to revise the ideas, but more the craft. That can help.

    1. I like your suggestions. I'm going to give them a try. Thanks.

  3. Karen, much to ponder here. Revision is tricky business. I just finished an article that I'm not loving. Every time I read it, I'm not sure I quite got to the point I was trying to make. I can't help but wonder what it might be like if I crafted it differently. I'm just not sure what that might look like. Time, I suppose, might help.

    I was intrigued in thinking about revision through a developmental lens. I also can't help but weigh the level of difficulty in the task of writing for writers from age 6 to 10. As I consider your words, I wonder too if the transition from using pictures to help tell our story to using words to impact our readers is a piece as well.

    Thanks for making me think. Hope you month of writing is going well!