#SOLSC21: Revision

When sewing and I don’t like the way it looks, I often think that I have two revision choices: rip it apart and redo it or continue on and find a way to fix it up/cover it up. But what if there are infinitely more choices? When I let the project sit, I think about the final outcome. In the case of my new skill “hourglass blocks,” it is about having triangles that meet with some exactness in the middle and that all four triangles are somewhat equal.

Did that require revision? So after much thought, I was able to answer yes. But some of the revision was in my head. I revised my “vision” or my expectations. What was going to be most visible? How did I ultimately want this to look?

Alternating Hourglass Squares

My vision as a part of revision: As I practiced I discovered that each square had six points to worry about “matching” or hitting the mark. What would be acceptable? All six? Five of six? Four of six? And then prioritizing . . . was any point more important than the others? Was the one in the middle the most critical because it is most visible and my eye was constantly drawn to it?

What to do? Seek perfection? Or continue in the direction of learning and improvement?

Dear Reader, what is your answer to this dilemma?

I was so fortunate to hear Kate DiCamillo at the TCRWP Supperclub last evening. So much wisdom. So many thoughts to develop. On writing: Kate explained her process. She writes her draft. She sets it aside. She completely redrafts it from start to finish again. Eventually she is revising in two page sections. But typically she does not share her work until the sixth version.


In today’s one and done world, do we value our writing that much? These posts for #SOLSC are not revised six times. That time is truly a luxury. But wait. I revise my initial topic thoughts before I touch the keyboard when I search for an idea, peruse my notebook, and search my pictures. As I inhale my first cup of coffee, I’m also revising. No fingers on the keyboard yet. But sifting possibilities. Consciously accepting and rejecting possibilities for formats.

However when we truly do value revision, how do we model that for students? Do they see the six versions (or more)? Do we expect more from our students than what we are doing ourselves?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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12 responses

  1. I think it is best to follow your heart.

    1. Yes, heart work matters!

  2. I think that what goes on in our heads before we put pen to paper or fingers to keypad is revision even though we may not consciously think of it as such. Sometimes pinning blocks together to get exact points is important just as rewriting to make our point is understood is important.

    1. Wow.
      Exact points.
      Point understood.
      You, sir, are brilliant!
      Thank you!

  3. Listening to Kate last night was so inspiring!
    When I saw those triangles, my palms got a little sweaty. I tried to be a quilter in my previous life, but that exactness was the death of me. LOL. I loved the connection of revising the blocks and revising in writing.

    1. Every quilting store I go in, I study the models. I have not found one that is 100 percent perfect. That helps. Learning other tips also helps.

      I am finding so many commonalities in any processes . . . Quilting, gardening, cooking, and reading and writing! ❤

  4. First, your quilt is amazing. As you reflect on writing, so much done in your head. I wonder if we don’t share and value the thinking of writing enough in school? FInally, I loved hearing Kate last night too!! Her process reminds wriitng is hard work! So glad we are here giving it a try.

    1. I admit to OCD. I so a lot in my head to avoid physical rewrites.

      Do we give students enough time and space to do the thinking part?

      And agee, loved Kate and the many gems.

  5. […] your slice yesterday gave me the idea to write my slice today. Fran also wrote about Supper Club HERE however, she focused what Kate said about […]

  6. I love your beautiful quilting and how you tie it in with the slice about revising after listening to Kate. So much food for thought and I’m sure you learnt a lot, apart from not having to be six point perfect!

    1. Perfection is so
      But so hard to let go!

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