For many years I was a huge procrastinator. Unfortunately, this procrastination would usually leave me with no time to revise my papers. I would barely finish typing the last word before having to submit the assignment. Not only that, but I found the revision process difficult. I had already worked so hard just writing the paper. Didn’t I deserve a break? However, later I learned that revision is an integral part of the writing process.
I found that when I revised, I was embarking upon a dialogue between myself and my writing. I was asking tough questions, looking for underlying connotations, and expanding upon my ideas with fresh insight. Unlike I previously believed, revision is not just editing. It’s clarifying and discovering meaning. How can I connect with my reader without a full understanding of my own intent? I now see revision as a creative process: first creating, and then re-seeing my work through the audience’s eyes. This tension between the original intent and the final product leads to new ideas and new understandings.
After experiencing the benefit of dialogue, I made the commitment to make sure procrastination never trumped revision again. I would never have grown as a writer, if I had continued to “just get by.” I find that writing is infinitely richer when I write not just to fulfill the assignment, but also to engage in a deeper awareness of my own ideas. Revision can be difficult, messy, and exacting; however, it is exactly the conflict and struggle of the revision process which eventually leads to a higher, synthesized understanding for both myself and my reader.
Graduate Assistant – Virtual Writing Center