Revision

You’ve heard the phrase “1% inspiration; 99% perspiration.”  I think you can use the same percentages for writing and revision:  “1% writing; 99% revision.”  I go to open mic poetry gatherings periodically and listen with great interest to the work that’s presented.  Inevitably, I come home with the thought that most of the poems would be better if more time had been spent on revision.  An intro such as “I just wrote this poem this afternoon…” immediately raises suspicions about how good the poem can be.  Maybe once, a poem “came to me” pretty much whole cloth, but even that poem required time on the ending in particular. Too many writers either wait for inspiration or think that expressing a fleeting idea is a poem.  I don’t think so; I think it’s a start.  After that, you have to go to work and craft a poem from the verbiage you pour on the page.
 

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