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Reviewing What You Have Written

You've done it! Your Odyssey, the pages of your life, is complete. Put the pages in a drawer and leave them alone for a couple of days (don't peek!). When you are ready, fix your favorite beverage, settle in to your favorite reading space, and read it as if you were reading a highly recommended book for the first time.

First, read for content and flow. Are the transitions smooth? Is anything missing? Are any important events, people, or places left out? You may have chosen to skip over events that are central to your life, perhaps because they were too complex or too private to include. This is entirely appropriate. Just be sure you have included the events you do want in your story; ask yourself if leaving an event or a person out is the right thing to do. Omit by design, not by accident. Make sure your opening paragraphs are strong and your closing paragraphs clearly signal the end of your written Odyssey. Use self-adhesive notes on the pages to keep track of additions or changes you want to make to your Odyssey. Writing can be hard work, as can editing what you have written. Both are well worth the effort. What you write may well be passed down from generation to generation in your family. Be sure what you write says what you want it to say.

Read your Odyssey a second time, paying attention to details like syntax, grammar, and spelling. If you are not confident doing this, ask someone you respect to do it with or for you. Misspellings and awkward grammar will distract listeners and readers. Make sure your Odyssey is in good form and ready to meet the public!

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