Most writers know that writing is about 10 percent drafting and 90 percent revision. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott practically institutionalized revision in her chapter “Sh*tty First Drafts.” She writes, “The first draft is the child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later.”
Of course, sometimes even revision doesn’t work. In a post at the Two Writing Teachers blog, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski writes about helping students with writing that isn’t getting better. But it’s a question every writer must face: what happens when it’s just not coming together?
Over at Pub Crawl, Kelly Van Sant writes about the role of critique in the revision process. Not post-publication reviews, but peer feedback from other writers. How should you respond? The bottom line: write it out. But Kelly offers several other suggestions, too.
And don’t forget I have compiled the “Every Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing,” which you can download and use to help you in your own revisions.
Some writers I know hate drafting and love revision. For others, it’s the opposite. What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the revision process. Drop me a note on my Facebook page about what you love or hate in the revision process.