Writing Academy, Memoirs, Novels, Short Stories, Book Proposals

New York City Writing Coach

Gay Walley

The endless revisions

I have a desire to start a new work. A new work is, as I’ve said before, like falling in love. In a new work, this time it will work out. Anything is possible. We will go to new heights. But I can’t start a new work. I have more revisions on something I have been working on for ages. There is always more to do. I remember reading Grey’s Elegy of 8 lines took him 6 years to write. I get it. This word could be improved. This thought. Let’s push here. Today as I begin revisions on a work, I feel a bit frustrated. (It’s not the first time — this is a screenplay I have been working on and the director always finds more for me to do. And she is right, by the way.) I don’t know if this screenplay will actually get fully funded. One never knows the fate of the love affair so to speak, but you don’t get anywhere without working on it. And, as Hemingway said, writing is rewriting. It’s the loneliness of the long distance runner/reviser. Today I meet with a student on his book that he now begins revising. I am curious to see if he enjoys the process. I think we all do once we get to it. Rather like the chipping at a diamond, we can see how the work is always just a bit, and then a bit more, better. We rewrite away to get to the shine which is always in there, waiting.