Reflections 2: Self-Editing



These reflections of the mirror-image variety prompted me to consider those of a different nature, about which I mused on this site a few years ago. In an earlier post, I had described my delight in playing with words. Similarly, photographs may occasionally capture my imagination to the extent that I can’t help but “play” with them, too.

When, for example, I viewed the first of the above smaller pictures on my computer screen, I immediately thought of a perfectly symmetrical, cultivated Christmas tree lying curbside after the holidays. I decided to rotate the image, making the “tree” appear vertical, just for the fun of it. Could our friends have been paddling up its trunk, or had they been hanging there, like blue and red baubles attached by the same white, satin ribbon? In the last of the images, fallen branches reflected by the surface of the water reminded me of a dream catcher; and in the photo above it, I immediately saw a giant squid. Could those be tentacles flowing out behind the creature swimming past?

These thoughts carry me back to the process of self-editing. Instead of dreading the work involved, perhaps I should give myself permission to be playful; perhaps I should revise chapters of a manuscript in order of last to first; perhaps I should change the size and type of the font I’ve been using, or the “working title”, or the names of the characters; perhaps then, I would see my writing with fresh eyes, making me aware of whole new creative possibilities.