The Importance of Taking a Step Back

By Kris Rubertone

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It’s no secret that writing in the heat of an emotional moment helps a writer understand her feelings. However, it’s only in revision that the writer can clearly gauge whether she has effectively evoked that particular emotional truth, and whether it has a similar effect on the reader. Does the language conjure again those deeply felt sentiments once the heat of the moment has passed? To lose that feeling and have to come back to it at a later time can be a very eye opening and beneficial experience for the writer.

I feel that both steps are necessary in creating an honest and raw piece of work. First and foremost, I believe that emotion is very important when it comes to creating art, and if one can capture it in the moment then there is no better time to do so. However, I think it’s very important to take a step back from your work once you’ve written it and let all that feeling settle. When you return to it, and you should, you’ll be better to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. It’s easy to think of cliches and stereotypes, especially when you’re in a state where they’re basically all you can relate to as they are the first thing that pops into our heads when we are feeling certain emotions.

There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to relate to these cliches, but it’s more beneficial to return to the work in a controlled state of mind so you can manipulate them into something specific to what you’re feeling and expand on the feelings and thoughts you couldn’t wrap your head around so much when you first wrote your piece. Over time, you start to cool off and feel less of what you were feeling . Then you can be more clear minded to get a sharper idea of how you want your work to turn out.Just as well, when you do return to your work after having written the first draft and you’re in a completely different state of mind, this could be useful to go through your works and grasp emotions from another state of mind to expand and elaborate your piece. That way, it is not limited to one standalone emotion, but that standalone emotion can be supported by others to amplify its importance within the piece.

I think from the writer’s perspective and viewpoint the editing process is seen as something bad , and kind of nerve wracking – I can attest to this. But these are important steps in order to make your work better. When in a more placid state, my thoughts are all over the place. I end up just throwing whatever I’m thinking onto the page, and when I’m feeling better and good enough to return to my poem, I’m able to pick out the things that really matter and make sense and shape. Then I can change them into something more coherent and understandable for the reader, being able to really get into detail of the subject.

Usually, when I write poetry, it doesn’t take any visual form; especially if I’m in too emotional a state. So going back to my work afterwards allows me to find the shape my work is supposed

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