18 Revision Is Not the Nail in the Coffin

Haleigh Cedervall

Life, like writing, is a constant process of revision. Through effort and a slow process of change, you rework your paper or yourself to get the best version you can. Every butterfly starts off as a caterpillar, and every caterpillar has to go into a cocoon in hopes of becoming something beautiful such as a butterfly. Revision requires editing, going back through things, and even more so changing things that need our attention. Editing in life requires a deep reflection of oneself’s outside appearance and personality. This is often affected by the way society has pushed upon a certain standard of the way to do things such as eat, dress, look, speak, etc. Going back through things in life is similar to flashbacks and memories that make us the people we are today in ways we both like and dislike. The only way to see these strengths and weaknesses is by taking the time to go back and view how these have shaped the lives we live now.  Additionally, the revision of our life requires changing things worth our effort. If someone is struggling with an addiction they must revise their life in a positive way by going to therapy or rehabilitation. The revision process, however, can be a daunting endeavor but the end results in happiness and overall peace. Revision is not a subjective choice but more a mandatory process used throughout writing in order to allow writers to construct a stronger piece. Revision is necessary for almost every aspect of life, small or big. That’s why it is the same with writing.

The revision process is almost always framed by professors, scholars, authors, educators, and doctors as the most necessary component to finalizing a piece of writing that delights and gets its point across. By delighting the audience with knowledge previously unknown it becomes more seen as something that can be learned. The revision process might seem bleak in the sense that it discredits the way an author writes. It is important to note that writers all have their own way of writing, and creating a strict set of guidelines to follow only makes it harder for the natural writing process to occur. There has never been a correct or incorrect way to revise a paper. It is thought that the revision process requires a red pen and double-spaced margins. Thus, it can be confusing for writers. The article, Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers, gives examples of the ways authors can identify or revise their drafts to become better. In other words, what can be trashed and what should be edited to be fixed. This process of identifying what qualifies as revision is necessary in order to make any writing stronger. Looking at all aspects of the revision process there is much to know about the way it creates this theme of unity. The theme of unity comes from the author using all their knowledge to correct and edit correctly. Unity allows the whole writing to be about one specific topic and follows the guidelines needed in order to ensure one person wrote it. Thus, creating a strong argument while making the author credible to the target audience. This credibility comes from being able to not only use textual information and citations but also be relatable to the audience. Therefore, revision shows its usefulness in contributing to that A+ paper.

The writing process is often dreaded for the steps it requires because it takes time, patience, and effort in changing things into making them better and more concise. The following article, Importance of Revision | Revising Writing Process, speaks about the importance of the revision process and why dreading the process is common for many authors. It also grazes upon the topic of having “mediocre writing,” which can be fixed if the revision process is not skipped but thoroughly used throughout one’s writing. When using revision it is common to find the errors not seen with the naked eye before. This makes it easier to be changed and adjusted to what the author was trying to say or get across to the audience. Granted there is no correct or incorrect way to double-check for errors, being there can be methods such as peer-revision, skimming through the text, or even reading over the text out loud. The death of revision only comes from the author who chooses not to use it. Without using the revision process it is common for the overwhelming fear of not having correct grammar and having a seemingly unfit paper. This common occurrence (more likely than getting struck by lightning) is present when authors choose to not use revision. Anne Lamott mentions the idea of an author’s first “shitty draft.” Almost always this tends to be the final draft because the writer’s mindset of whatever I have now is already good enough. Basically, writers who don’t use the revision process are lazy and egotistical. A bad first draft is not seen as a bad thing, but a way to improve the writing into something with more proper knowledge, and without this, the final draft is often unfinished. It lacks the details and materials necessary to provide substantial knowledge or credibility to the target audience. Making writing fall short and seem unimportant without this crucial step of revision. The revision process is needed in order to diminish an egotistical writer’s complex.

Lastly, the revision process creates the effect of being a professional on a topic or matter whether big or small. Creating a whole united piece of writing draws the writer in and allows them to bear the fruits of one’s labor. This continuous process of revision not only at the end of the piece of writing but throughout the entirety of writing allows more new material to surface and grow. This new material is often the beginning point for many readers to get their own ideas or opinions on a topic flowing so they can also contribute to the learning processes of others. The revision process is used in order to make writing stronger, not weaker. These seeds of ideas are not the last part of the revision process but allow new ideas to sprout and the target audience will have an end result of something beautiful to look at. The full picture comes into view when we as writers are able to use all parts of the writing process. This includes but is not limited to brainstorming, revision, drafting, writing, and overall thinking about the topic as a whole. Using the revision process is the next step to continuing life, not the nail in the coffin.


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Good Ideas About Writing Copyright © 2021 by Haleigh Cedervall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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