Revision: Re-Envisioning

This Wednesday morning at my daughter’s elementary school, the littlest ones – the kindergarteners and first graders – shared some of their work. Their teacher had encouraged the kids to work on revision, with a method I found so familiar I might have written it myself: be specific, persevere, don’t be mean. The children showed their school – fifty students and a handful of teachers and parents – a science experiment, snowflakes they made, a girl’s story she had written four times. Excited about the holidays, the little girls wore sparkly dresses.

I didn’t encounter the revision word until high school. Revision was a hated word, a punishment, a sign of slacking or incompetence. Not until I hit the second half of college did revision become deeply engrained in me.

In graduate school,  I had a professor who told me, Revision is our life. Widen your lens: re-envision. Perhaps that’s why I found this morning so particularly interesting: at such a young age to begin looking at your doings, not in a spirit of despair or judgement, but in creativeness openness. That may be a long stretch for a five-or-six-year-old kid, but good habits took me an embarrassingly long period to learn.

For what it’s worth, Shelagh Shapiro (author of a fine Vermont novel The Shape of the Sky) interviewed me for her Write The Book Radio program (listen here). Listening to the podcast driving home last night, I thought, Slow learner. Which, perhaps, was why I enjoyed the little kids this morning. And the young authoress today did her own illustrations, as well.

Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing.

– Bernard Malamud


Montpelier, Vermont



About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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2 Responses to Revision: Re-Envisioning

  1. heididorr says:

    Photo by you this time? Like it (and recognize it, of course)!


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