For me, revision is an extremely important process in my writing. I am almost always dissatisfied with initial drafts of mine. If I’m being completely honest, I am a bit of a perfectionist. I typically revise everything that I write from text messages to emails to analytical essays. The extent to which this process occurs is accordingly very different for an essay as compared to a text message. I typically read over a text message once or twice before sending it. The more acquainted I am with an individual, the less time I spend on the revision process. Embarrassingly enough, I can distinctly remember my friends and I working together to edit our text messages to petty crushes. Should I say this or this? Is it weird to say this? Should I use this emoji or that one? It was all largely trivial but revision nonetheless.
With essays, my revision process is much more in depth, spanning a few days’ time, and beginning before my fingers even start to tap away at the keyboard. I consider my brainstorming process to be a form of revision. I find it critical to map out my ideas before writing anything substantial. I typically narrow my focus and do test runs of different structures and setups. I go through all potential evidence for my argument and narrow it down to the quotes that I coin to be important. Even before I wrote this very blog post, I determined which questions would be the most pertinent to discuss based on my initial responses to them.
Revision does not end after my brainstorming session. Revision simultaneously occurs as I put down words on paper. After the development of each sentence, my brain won’t allow me to move on till I have read it over, checked it for appropriate diction, grammatical correctness, and its contribution to the flow of the piece.
The truth of being a perfectionist is that you have a complete inability to let things go. The act of revising is almost like a vice, enabling the perfectionist to see the work as they would like it to be: incomplete. However, there is one thing in this world that the perfectionist is constantly battling: time. With the clock ticking and deadlines approaching, there is only one thing left to do. Let it go (or maybe check it over just one more time…)