Saturday, October 25, 2014

Revising My Life

I just completed a workshop in which the first five pages of my young adult novel, were constructively critiqued by other writers (First Five Pages Blog). It was a valuable experience. I have never enjoyed revision; once I am done with a piece, and the novelty has worn off, it is time to move on to the next creative project. New projects induce fresh energy that accompanies the creative process.  But this process forced me to revise my writing, and by the end of the month long workshop and feedback from writers each week, I feel that my pages are stronger. I still have a slight revision to make and I look forward to it. In the process, my characters became real and well-rounded, and I am planning on a rewrite of the entire novel using the advice I received from my fellow attendees.

As with the creative process, asking for help with revising my personal life is difficult. Although I do know from experience that every time I ask for help and actually accept that help, my life changes in some small beautiful way. I am able to see certain things differently when they are explained by a trusted friend or advisor. I tend to have my own uniques view of the world, and it takes another person to help me to see other solutions, and to change my perceptions. Because it really does come down to perception. I have a perception of life that is unique to me. When I am reading the first pages of my novel, I see my character as I have imagine her, with all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies. Those quirks might not come clear on the page however, and it takes someone to read and give feedback in order for me to see what is missing. Same is true for many other issues including my recent job search. I had blinders on; the only jobs I could apply for were teaching jobs with a 20 mile radius of my house. Which, if you know where I live, doesn't really give me much to work with. So I asked for help, and I received valuable advice yet again from Hearn College and Career. I was given tools to work with that helped me to broaden my search to jobs with an education slant, as well as brush up on my networking skills. I was exposed to possibilities I would not have come up with on my own. I feel a greater sense of hope that I will eventually land where I am supposed to be.

As with my novel, my personal life needs constant revision. I need to be aware of problems that may arise and make the necessary changes in perception in order to stay in the flow of life. I am no longer that starry-eyed high school graduate with dreams of becoming a veterinarian. I am an English Teacher who writes, or possibly even a Writer who teaches English. Who knows what revisions the future may bring.