A quick browse on the Internet, and you’ll find countless writing prompts. Bookstores display books with offering you 101 Things to Write about. But little attention is given to revising. And, I would argue that it’s the most important part of the writing process, yet possibly the most neglected and least understood.
Revise derives from the Latin word, revisere, which means to look back. When I think about looking back, I picture stepping out of a moment and turning my body to face that moment head on. The distance grants me the ability to see completely and objectively.
As writers, we must finish a draft of our work and then step away. There’s not a golden time frame. Twenty four hours is a good starting place. When you look again, see it as an observer rather than as the author. Ponder how form would change the piece? The point of view? The tone? The verb tense?
Then, create a variation of the original with one of those changes and see what works better for the piece. Too often, writers are too connected to their original creation. We must have the humility and patience to see our work again.
One of the definitions of revision is to look again “for the purpose of … improving.” Revision leads to better writing. I would argue that it’s wiser to spend more time revising than creating.
If you want to learn more about the revision process, hang out with me this month to learn more.