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Living Revision: A Writer's Craft as Spiritual Practice
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Living Revision: A Writer's Craft as Spiritual Practice

4.68  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A 2018 Nautilus Award Winner in the Creative Process Category

"Revision is the spiritual practice of transformation—of seeing text, and therefore the world, with new eyes. Done well, revision returns us to our original love."

In Living Revision, award-winning author and teacher Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew guides writers through the writing and revision process. With insight and
Paperback, 312 pages
Published October 18th 2017 by Skinner House Books
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Sue Burke
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beginning and even intermediate writers will find this book useful if they haven’t come to understand that revision — especially deep revision — gives them a chance to turn adequate work into something extraordinary. “Revision is a form of love,” Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew says. “Creativity is the capacity to see or make newness. Revision is the flourishing of creativity. It is the work of seeing with new eyes ... revision is a natural consequence of growth.”

Experienced writers who have already le
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Living Revision is a treasure trove of insights, references to both classic and newer writing resources (from Strunk & White to Anne Lamott to Mark Doty), practical tips, exercises to improve your revision process, and simply beautiful writing with accessible concepts and a warm, personal tone.

Jarrett Andrew addresses the big challenges writers face, like audience awareness (how it helps and how it can hurt), how to structure a work, choosing the right voice for the material, and getting stuck
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew's Living Revision: A Writer's Craft as Spiritual Practice explores writing as a spiritual discipline. She uses the language of faith to explore what writing offers to its practitioners. Essentially a "writer's bible", this book is full of rich wisdom about the nature of writing itself, but she is most like a writer's prophet -- one who helps the writer-disciple follow the story and make it the best it can be. The book is a spiritual challenge to engage in the writing cra ...more
Nancy Nordenson
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With skill and generosity, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, a seasoned writer and teacher of writing, shares on these pages what she knows about the critical stage of revision, which means that long period during which you transform something raw and unshapen into a thing of beauty and substance. The subtitle, "A Writer's Craft as Spiritual Practice" reveals an important truth about good writing. As Andrew says in the Introduction, "For your writing to change, you must change." If you're a writer, whet ...more
Carole Duff
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent craft book with very helpful exercises for every step of revision.
Matt B.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The good: This book is a veritable master class on writing, with a ton of inspiration and exercises for all levels. You can read through and catch the highlights, or dive deep get the most out of the book. Either way, you will learn something useful that you can apply right away.

The not so good: If I could offer one criticism, there were a few chapters a bit on the long side for a casual read through. Just keep that in mind if you plan to read it straight through. If you take it slow, I don’t th
Nancy Agneberg
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I refer to this book so often it is already becoming worn. I am currently revising my spiritual memoir, and the timing of this book couldn't be better. When I first got the book I decided to read it all the way through, underlining, of course, but not do any of the exercises. Now as I am encountering specific issues in the draft of my book, I know just where to turn. My new mantra is "What would Elizabeth do? What would Elizabeth say?" I especially love the perspective that not only is writing a ...more
April Yamasaki
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Living Revision takes the reader-writer from rough draft through various stages of revision to completion. It includes many illustrations and quotes from a treasure trove of writers, from E.B. White to Margaret Atwood to Maxine Hong Kingston, Flannery O’Connor to Zora Neale Hurston to Leonard Cohen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Nadia Bolz-Weber to Jonathan Franzen, and many more. The book was a delight to read the first time through, and I hope to go through it once again for the ample writing ex ...more
Kristin Boldon
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, new, own, writing, 2019, mfa, re-read
A hugely helpful, generous guide to revision, with loads of useful exercises to help see your work in new ways.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am a writer. Most days I believe it. I have that badge that all real writers have: rejection letters from magazine submissions failed attempts and false starts, a loud inner critic and writer's block. But also, I have moments where I write something (often on my blog, but also for sermons) and I know my words hit home. I share myself and others find themselves in what I've written. I haven't written anything long form, because I don't know how —I'm afraid of it—I've never done it, and feel too ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching-grammar
Andrew gives good advice about revision and recasts it from a labor and chore to the very heart of writing, which I really appreciate. The more I write, the more I discover this to be true.

My only critique of the book is that the way she talks about writing is like writing therapy. I'm not sure I believe that all creative writing is really a working out of our deep seated emotions or beliefs. Andrews only way of approaching revision is through emotion, and in that way, the book feels a little m
Heather Durham
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is an excellent craft book to help any writer re-vision the revision process. I know I will return to it often to reference her helpful suggestions, exercises, and expert advice. I was expecting and hoping for more a little more on the "spiritual practice" part of the title, whereas this is really mainly a craft book. But a very good one.
Jeffrey Fisher
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required reading if you wish to write ... well! Not a nuts and bolts approach. Deeper and transcendent. More how to look at your material and find its essence and then shaping it. Many morsels of wisdom in these pages. I shall return to it often as I work through the stages of my writing. Highly recommended!
Tarn Wilson
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on revision I've ever read. I've given it as gifts to many writer friends, and they all love it, too. If you don't consider yourself "spiritual," don't dismiss this book: it is filled with practical suggestions and a deep understanding of the writing process.
Baxter Trautman
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Re-reading in preparation for the heavy lifting of revising latest WIP. A must-have in every authors tool box.
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Hello, fellow readers! I'm using Goodreads to track my reading, to find like-minded book-lovers who want to share titles, and to connect with readers of my books. Feel free to follow my reviews or become a virtual friend.

As a writer, I'm passionate about creating stories that nourish the soul. I love exploring how faith functions, both inside and outside of religious traditions, and depicting the

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