Revision – A Personal Story by Debra H. Goldstein

dhg-photo.jpgRevision –A Personal Story by Debra H. Goldstein

When I stepped down from the bench, I fully intended to treat writing as a business. I was going to schedule a specific time of day for writing and not stop until I had completed a mandatory word count. Once I wrote first drafts of stories and perhaps another book, I would begin the process of revision – making a change or set of changes to improve my work.

It didn’t happen. I traveled, threw a wedding, played with grandchildren (not from the child who got married), went to lunch, accepted more civic responsibilities, occasionally was a Mah jongg substitute, and watched almost every re-run episode of NCIS, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory. There was always a distraction or thing to prevent me from giving my full attention to writing.

Things that had to be written like my obligated blog postings got done, but the muse for creative writing eluded me. I actually began to doubt my stated goal of being a full time writer. My doubts scared me.

I weighed whether I should return to the practice of law, accept appointment as a senior judge or turn off the TV and give myself a good kick in the rump. With New Year’s coming, I decided to make a resolution about my writing, but doubts crept in again. After all, how many times in the past had I made resolutions like “I’m going to lose weight,” “I’m going to exercise more,” or “I’m going to be nicer and kinder to other people?”
So, no resolutions or future promises. Just an attempt at revision.

Revision is defined as “a change or set of changes that improves something. Something, such as a piece of writing or song, that has been corrected or changed.” Considering my recent state of activities, it isn’t going to require too much revision of my attitude and writing schedule to result in numerous pieces of writings that will need to be corrected or changed.

Many retirees claim they needed a break before finally settling into a productive schedule. I swore, especially being so much younger than normal retirement age, I would not be part of that group. Yet, despite my best intentions, I was. It is only in the last few weeks that the wind has changing. Now, I’m excited to imagine the work product my revised efforts will bring.

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Debra H. Goldstein’s short story, “A Political Cornucopia” was the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable featured November 2013 story.  Her debut novel, A Maze in Blue, received a 2012 IPPY award and will be reissued by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery in May 2014.

0 thoughts on “Revision – A Personal Story by Debra H. Goldstein”

  1. Hi Debra, I can identify with many of the many points you shared in this post. I also took advantage of early retirement and decided to skip the essential “pause” other retirees often talked about. Happy to hear the winds of change are blowing in your life. Best of luck in 2014.

  2. I know what you’re going through, Debra, and I can sympathize. Sometimes what helps is pulling out an old half done story and seeing what you can do with it to make it work. I love the revision part of writing (maybe because I’m a free-lance editor) and find it gets my creative juices flowing again when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. Good luck with whatever you choose to write next.

    1. Thanks Mary! BTW, I just finished reading a few of your books – enjoyed them! Ironically, I had just taken your advice and pulled out an old story, revised it, and sent it out before reading your comment. Lots of ideas are flowing – lots of options — we’ll see where they go. As always, thanks for the sage advice that is on the mark.

      1. Glad to hear you enjoyed my books, Debra. Glad also to hear you finished an old story. Hope it sells, and also hope it’s just the first of a long line of new stories from you. 🙂

  3. I absolutely loved this Debra!!! When I left my last position I didn’t have any trouble keeping busy, getting the house ready for a move, painters here for three weeks, etc. But with the holidays now come and gone, I am finding myself hesitating to get back in full swing. I like revision. I’ll add to that refocus! I look forward to more of your sage wisdom in 2014!

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