Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm reading a book about writing, and it does a lot of talking about first drafts and rewrites, and rewrites, and rewrites, and rewrites. Now I've always enjoyed writing, but I've honestly never been much of a rewriter. I was that person who finished the last paragraph of her term paper ten minutes before it was due, glanced over the paper for any glaring mistakes, and sprinted to class to turn it in three to five minutes after it was due. I have always said that I wished the teacher would email us an hour before the paper was due to tell us we had an extra day, because I think I could have turned in some fabulous second drafts that way. Unfortunately for me, that never happened, so I ended up sliding by with a lot of first draft papers. So this time around, I am determined to train myself how to rewrite my first drafts. Even in the bit of rewriting I have had the privilege to do, I have always been able to find great room for improvement in my pieces. Especially when I leave my work for a while, forget about it, and come back with a fresh eye, I am able to see things that I hadn't seen at first. I can't help but think that life has its own opportunities for rewrites, and I've probably missed a lot of chances for that in my life as well. Obviously I can't change anything that has happened, but that doesn't mean that the possibility for reconciliation and redemption of past mistakes doesn't exist for me. I just have to have the discipline to go back to my work and rewrite relationships or rewrite the way my heart feels toward people who have wronged me. And even if I can't right a wrong I have done in my life, I can rewrite the next situation I am in that is similar to those I have previously messed up. If I have learned from my mistakes, hopefully this draft will be better than the first. I think God always desires reconciliation and redemption of people, relationships, and situations in this life, so He gives us a lot of second chances. And probably third and fourth and fifth chances too. But if I never learn to evaluate my life and see what needs to be rewritten, I may end up reading that first draft back to myself in every second chance God gives me. So perhaps as I discipline myself to go back and write second and third and fourth drafts in my writing, I will gain some insight into how to edit my life in similar ways.

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