27 responses

  1. Jason Poole
    September 16, 2019

    As always, you teach so well by example and parenthetical asides and humor and such good advice, the stuff that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, the stuff that says: Pay attention, this is right. And as always, I am sitting here, drinking it in, laughing as I learn and nodding. Yes. Yes. Yes.
    Thank you, Dinah.

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 16, 2019

      Aw, Jason, such good words, thanks to you for reading and letting me know that you did!

      Reply

  2. Brenda Miller
    September 16, 2019

    So great, Dinah! I miss you!!!

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 17, 2019

      Thank you, Brenda! I miss you, too—

      Reply

  3. Renee Ozburn
    September 16, 2019

    Dinah, I love your voice and this was just what I needed to hear. I cringe when I think about pieces I’ve shared before the gazillionth revision. Fortunately, or so I hope, most of those who have read the not-revised-enough versions of my work, are such prolific readers, they don’t remember what I wrote or who I am.

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 17, 2019

      Eek, Renée, my thanks somehow surfaced in the wrong place, and I don’t know how to revise in word press! So thank you again here—for reading and writing—

      Reply

  4. Allison Ellis
    September 17, 2019

    Wonderful, thank you, Dinah! Exactly what I needed today! Yes, yes, I get to revise!

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 17, 2019

      You do! You get to revise! Thanks, Allison.

      Reply

  5. Hilary Jacobs
    September 17, 2019

    I love this, Dinah! Thanks for reminding us to “Try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.”

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 17, 2019

      Who can get enough Elmore? Nobody, that’s who. Thanks for reading, Hilary.

      Reply

  6. Dinah Lenney
    September 17, 2019

    Thank you for reading, Renée. And writing—me too, me too, I feel just as you do.

    Reply

  7. Lilli
    September 19, 2019

    I skipped nothing! Thank you, Dinah. This is wonderful (and encouraging).

    Reply

    • Dinah Lenney
      September 19, 2019

      What a lovely thing to say. Thanks to YOU.

      Reply

  8. Geri Modell
    September 23, 2019

    This gave me the courage and purpose to go back and revise a short story I know needs more work. Thank you, Dinah!

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 28, 2019

      Geri, thank you for reading!

      Reply

  9. Stacy E Holden
    September 24, 2019

    I needed to read this. Thanks for a great essay…

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 28, 2019

      Thanks to you for reading!

      Reply

  10. Jody A. Forrester
    September 25, 2019

    It took me a long time not to be embarrassed by my first drafts, but I am no longer. Thanks so much for reinforcing what I’ve finally internalized – revision, especially following critique from my support group, as well as reading aloud, can make the difference between a story failing and one that succeeds. As always, Dinah, you are an inspiration.

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      September 28, 2019

      Aw, Jody, thanks.

      Reply

  11. Tina DeMarco
    October 24, 2019

    Thx for this brilliant piece! One of the things I hold dear is that F. Scott Fitzgerald became the genius he is after, and only after, revising his books for 13 – 15 times. When he finally completed the editing and revision process, his genius was able to be seen in full.

    Reply

  12. Tina DeMarco
    October 24, 2019

    …And, I wish there was a like button for each comment because I’d like and love them all! As well as Dinah’s generous and inspiring reply to each and every one!

    I’ve sent too many early drafts out, only to feel regret and shame for not ‘being smarter.’

    Reply

    • dinah lenney
      October 24, 2019

      Tina, thank you! And to say about shame and regret—don’t go there if you can help it. We can only do as much as we can do. It’s good to send the work out! It’s necessary! If it comes back, that’s only an opportunity to rethink and send again. And there are ALWAYS places to send, always, always. And—thanks for reading and writing…

      Reply

  13. Barrett Warner
    October 24, 2019

    Sleep on it? Heck I’ve been known to go into a coma, LOL. Great essay!

    Reply

    • Mick
      October 28, 2019

      I was sure you were going to say “comma.”

      Reply

  14. dinah lenney
    October 25, 2019

    Ha. Thank you, Barrett.

    Reply

  15. Andreea
    December 9, 2019

    so true

    Reply

  16. Evelyn Krieger
    January 22, 2020

    Thanks for this common sense and thoroughly helpful advise. Needed to read this today as I sit here berating myself on the latest draft…

    Reply

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