I'm in a phase of deletions—different from revising, in which one tries with passion and perseverance to fix what isn't working. Instead, I am throwing up my hands, sending stanzas and paragraphs to the virtual trashcan or the real recycle bin under the sink.
What leads me to give up? A sturdy realism, or an ingrained lack of confidence? Some days, nothing I write looks right. Some days, nothing I wrote the day before looks worth salvaging. But in all this refuse, my revision muscles become lax. I need to keep a thing or two just to work on it—knowing it will eventually fail, but for the things it might teach me in the meantime.
The trick, I guess, is knowing when to let it go, and that decision will come later. I'll need the confidence then.