Monday, January 15, 2024

To Delete or Not to Delete?

Mary Gaitskill observed that it's not uncommon for her to have second thoughts about crossed out longhand text. Consequently, instead of hitting delete, she puts suspicious digital text into brackets, which gives her options. 

Gaitskill shared with The Believer (February 1st, 2009):

I’ve noticed that when I’m writing longhand, sometimes I’ll write something and I’ll go, Oh, that’s awful, and I’ll cross it out and I’ll write something over it. And frequently when I go back, I decide that what I crossed out was actually better. When you’re writing on the computer, you don’t cross it out, you just delete it. But now, if I’m not sure, I don’t delete it. Instead of making the revision, I just put it in a bracket and write my second idea, and I can look back and see which I think was better, because sometimes the first thing is actually better.

If there's some text that I'm not confident about deleting, I copy and paste it to the end of my document, which gives me options; however, sometimes there's text that I am confident about deleting immediately, and, thank God, I've seldom had regrets. 

But the question remains: To delete or not to delete? 

No comments:

Post a Comment