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Thread: When should I stop Revising my Poems

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Wextd's Avatar
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    When should I stop Revising my Poems

    I never know when to stop revising my poems. It seems I'm never sure when my piece is finished, It feels like I'll never actually finish and be happy with a my poems. Some times I feel that far from improving my poems I actually make them worse. How can I stop myself from doing the this, all suggestions welcome

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Mentoring Myself and Others Debbie V's Avatar
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    Save old versions. When you start to feel like you are making things worse, go back to the prior version and call it done. Let professionals tell you if you're wrong and it still needs work - send it out and see what they say.

    Also, consider posting in the poetry critique section.

    Make sure you can explain the reason for every change you make - rhythm, clarifies meaning, uses stronger more accurate word or phrase, etc.

    I hope this is helpful.

  3. #3
    Huh. kkbe's Avatar
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    Debbie V has some good advice, especially suggesting you try to make sure you can justify the changes you're making. You don't want to get in the habit of picking at scabs which, I just realized, is a horrible, horrible analogy. Or maybe it's a good one, just distasteful. The point is, worrying a poem to death does the poem no good, and meanwhile, all that wonderful creativity you might have otherwise expended is going to waste. I suggest you write, put your writing on the back burner for a while, read some things here, maybe crit some on SYW and then, yeah, after 50 posts you can put some of your stuff out there and get some other opinions.

    My experience has been that--by myself writing, with only myself as a sounding board--I tend to doubt myself. It's invaluable to have other writers reading your work and offering their opinions, which you are free to take or not take.

    Try not to worry. You've found a home here, it's a great place to learn and practice the craft. Welcome to aye-dub, btw.

    -kkbe
    From EFFIN' ALBERT:
    Mom don’t notice right away, she’s still heading for our rock then she hears me or maybe she gets a feeling something’s wrong with her son. She turns around, sees me and starts running back, not watching for rocks not caring about pickers then she grabs me up and she don’t let me go.

    /my little blog/
    Rep'd by Brent Taylor @ TriadaUS Literary Agency.

  4. #4
    In Time-Out For My Sins
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    ... poetry takes times. you'll eventually reach a point where you'll be able to write poems or revise them and be confident you got everything right or as close to right as you need to be. for now, I wouldn't get too caught up in revision. g'luck.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Wextd's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for your insights and suggestions on this one

  6. #6
    resident curmudgeon
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    If you keep revising over and over, it won't be long before you're just stirring mud. There also comes a point when you aren't revising, you're procrastinating. Just finish the poems and send them off. Revising fifty times is usually no better, and often worse, than revising once.

  7. #7
    Bananas are my favorite animal A S Abrams's Avatar
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    I agree with kkbe. There should be some space between revisions. Even a week is good. Meanwhile work on new poetry and get the old poem out of your head. When you come back to the poem you'll see it with fresher eyes. If you make changes, then it's time to put the poem away again to create distance and an objective view.

    I find that I never feel any of my poems are 'finished.' However, there comes a point in time when I need to stop working on any particular one. I guess it's a matter of feeling confident that you've done the best you can do for where you are. If you can do no better with the poem, it's done, even if it isn't finished.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Wextd's Avatar
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    Smile

    Cheers guys for the advice!

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