Tuesday, March 1, 2016

IWSG: Revision

I'm taking a creative nonfiction class this semester, and something that my teacher has told me time and time again is, "The real writing takes place during revision". I've come to realize that this is SO true. My current piece started out as a shitty first draft. All first drafts start out needing lots of TLC. That's why they call it a draft! Over the last few weeks, I have been meeting with my teacher every Wed. afternoon to keep working on my draft. Now that I look back on my first draft, I barely even recognize it!

Something else pertaining to revision that I really love about this class is that we do large group workshops of our pieces (3 people per session). Rather than focusing on purely the aspects of the essay that need improving, we also focus on the positive! This way, we don't feel like our work is being ripped apart. I can say from personal experience that being ripped apart is only acceptable to a certain degree. There comes a point where it just becomes too much, especially if the editor doesn't focus at all on the positive.

Do you agree with me on the shitty first draft idea? What do you think about revision?


  1. I love the idea that the real writing occurs during revision. I definitely feel that way about my own. And it's great that in your class you and your peers discuss both the positive and negative aspects of your writing. By doing that, you can feel accomplished even if there are still things in your writing that need improvement.

  2. My father refuses to edit his writing, believing he has already said what needed saying. As such, his writing suffers from poor construction, silly mistakes, and usually, unrealized stories. The first draft is, of course, crucial, but always always always in need of editing. I totally agree, revision is where the actual writing takes place.

  3. First drafts are messy and the revisions are the harder work. I'm not a fan of revising, but I realize the necessity of it.

  4. I think it was Hemmingway who said "The first draft of anything is shit."

    The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. Once you know it, you can go back in and actually write it :)

  5. Writing is easy. Making everything make sense afterward is the hard part.

    The first draft of my current book was a MESS, but after many revisions it seems to have come together. Fingers crossed!

    Congrats on staying focused and working through those painful and tedious edits!

    IWSG March

  6. It's very freeing when you say to yourself, "This doesn't have to be perfect...I can fix it in revisions!" At least you get that first draft down.

  7. I'm learning to honor first drafts, too.

  8. Here from Alex's blog. I really like what you've done here and I'm now a follower, LOL. Anyway, in regard to your post. To me, it really speaks to the difference in people's approaches to writing. I don't really call the first draft a draft, because I tend to edit as I write. Sometimes I'll edit a chapter six or seven times before moving onto the next. I've been told that this is a no-no, but it's the only way I can get through the book. This is my second novel and well, editing along the way is slow going for sure. However, I've found that there's less clean up at the end than if I just moved on without editing. Don't get me wrong, there's still some edits, etc, but nothing like it could be. Anyway, I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Glad your writing is progressing so nicely.

  9. I love revising! I really do. And yes, I believe the first draft of any book is just that, a first draft that needs lots of TLC.

  10. Good to visit your site as a part of my A to Z visits. My theme Blog Promotion
    Welcome to A to Z April Blogging Challenge 2016 - Co-Participant - Nrao - NRao Blogs
    NRao Blogs - 2016 A to Z Challenge Blog Posts
    Management Theory Review


Thank you for taking the time to comment! :)