It’s been a while, I know. But please don’t judge me. I have good excuses, I swear. Okay, maybe they’re not good, but they’re excuses anyway. Now that I’m finally here, though, I’ll get down to it. I hardly ever read my previous journal entries unless someone discovers an entry and approves of it. That happened this week. It was an entry from over two years ago, one I had completely forgotten about, but one that surprisingly still had relevance.
This entry was about writing for 10 minutes straight without editing, something I never really did before that moment, but it was refreshing and I’ve done it many times since, just to feel a bit freer with my writing, to help create flow. And it’s relevant this week because I just started teaching a college Composition course which is all about drafting, revision, and more revision in the hopes of getting to a final, complete piece. While those two methods of writing seem to be at odds, I find a symmetry to them that’s divine.
Drafting and revising is important in its own way, of course, the process of working hard on a piece of writing until it is polished and shining like a pearl, but something can also be lost along the way — the sense of freshness and newness of the unadorned words straight from the original thought. Those original thoughts are precious, even if rough in their nature, so instead of destroying them in search of thoughts that are clearer and more polished, why not keep them safe in a personal journal?
That’s the glory of a journal after all, that it’s for those raw thoughts so imperfectly formed and yet so full of possibility. What’s lost in all those drafts and revisions is just that, the possibility of more, of thoughts disconnected and obscure that can lead to so much more. So this divine symmetry is what I feel I need here. I’ve taken so much time and care with choosing the right words to see and be seen, but I can’t forget the flow, the feeling in those original words that begins everything and that finds purchase in not knowing the path ahead.