Revision, trying something different

Detail from a new painting The French Circus,

Over the past couple of years, a client and I worked together to write the rough draft of her memoir. When it came time to revise the book, she was too busy at her job to give the book the attention it needed.

She came up with a fabulous idea for revision that I’d like to share.

We started at Chapter 1, Page 1. She read the chapter out loud to me over the phone. We spent the rest of the session discussing what was missing, what needed to be deepened and what required editing. She made notes on top of the chapter. The following week we read Chapter 2. Again we discussed and brainstormed. This week we begin Chapter 3.

What has resulted is a poetic overview of the entire book! And the client isn’t required to do any ‘homework’ between sessions, which she didn’t have time for anyway because of her workload.

So, she’s writing without having to write! What great advice for people who work full-time who needed to take some time off writing every day.

When I revised my novel, Earth, and when I’ve worked with other clients on the revision process, we’ve used a much slower, more detailed approach. But reading out loud and brainstorming has actually proved a superior method, at least at the beginning of the revision process. You understand what threads carry through the book, you ‘feel’ the reason you were writing the book in the first place, you re-grasp the soul and essence of the work.

You don’t need a coach to do this. If you’re ready to revise your book, find a smart friend to read out loud to, and brainstorm afterwards. Give said friend the same courtesy; help them with their artform.

Watch how flying soulfully above the work can reignite your passion, just when you need it most. You WILL need to go back later and do all the detailed editing work, but beginning in a more expansive way helps energize you for the very hard work of revising an entire book.

For a free initial coaching consultation, contact me at,


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