1. the act of changing or correcting something, or the thing that has been changed or corrected.
One cannot be a serious writer without going through the process of revision. The act of revising is not for the weak or tenderhearted. To truly revise means that you can identify the flaws and change, improve, and rework you piece. For me, I am often times too close to my work to be that objective. This is where the help of others comes in.
Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to join together in “the art of critiquing” which turns into revising, editing, and rewriting with a critique partner. A real, formal CP. I haven’t had said partner up to this point in my writing journey. Sure, I’ve had family, friends, and co-workers who have generously and graciously read my manuscripts and offered some advice. (Who doesn’t need the unwavering support of cheerleaders no matter how bad my story is?) While I have appreciated their efforts in every way, working with a CP in a professional way–who is not in the family/friend/co-worker zone has thus far proved worthwhile. If you don’t currently have a CP, consider it. It may not be for every writer, but so far it is working for me. (Shout out to you Rach!)
One of my most cherished books on revising is William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s book, “The Elements of Style.” If you haven’t read it. Read it. If you don’t own your own copy, I would encourage you to do so.
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How’s this for a thought?
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I look at revision with as positive of an attitude as possible. With each revision, my writing evolves into something better. I learn along the way and to me that is one of the most important elements in the craft of writing. Rarely, does a writer produce something amazing in the first draft.
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Amanda Kirkham, M.Ed., is an elementary school teacher, writer, and aspiring author. She is a triplet, a runner, and perpetual student. Her motto is “Never stop learning!” One of her favorite childhood pastimes was to read every side of the cereal box and digest the information. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four children.