Time and Distance

2 Feb

Time and distance. These variables make such a difference when recovering from traumatic life events! Today, however, I rediscovered how much they apply to revisiting our writing. 

When we are in the midst of composing, surrounded by swirling thoughts, all we want to do is get them down on paper.  Then, as I have advised so often, we revise, and revise, and revise yet again.   Positive we have a good draft, we share it with respected peers and anxiously await their response.  Often they have suggestions, so we refine our work once more.

After we submit that work to a teacher, professor, or editor, we may have to wait several weeks before its return.  “Why didn’t I see that?” we often wonder as we make the recommended changes.  Whether that reader suggests a conference, or we request one, further clarification will lead to even more revision.

For me, who teaches writing, today I learned that when we get back our paper, story, book, or article,  time and distance can make a reread seem as if we are reading someone else’s work. Now, when our wording gives us pause that is when we get down to the level of one word and to the realization that changing it will make a huge difference.

So, my advice for today (just in case you haven’t taken it in before) is, don’t leave your school assignments for the last minute.  Time and distance will bring you closer to that A.  To aspiring authors, time and distance may bring you a better chance of publication. Just as a painter will return to his masterpiece to add a brushstroke here and there, revisiting our writing weeks later  will allow us to  paint our words to perfection.

JS 🙂



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