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The Writer’s Icing: Smart Revisions

I used to hate revising my writing. I really hated it.  Kind-of like cleaning up my room as a kid. It worked fine for me, so why did I need to fix it up more for other people?

But then something clicked. I wrote something good, and during forced revisions by a teacher, I made it even better. I started developing the habit of revising. Over and over again. It may actually have been college that did it for me. (Who knew?!) So I developed some pragmatic systems for my writing. Notes, outlines, first drafts, taking a break, revising, revising again, proofreading, polishing, publishing.

The revision process can still sometimes be painful, but I have learned to find joy in the small improvements I can make in my writing. As the Olympics are happening this month, I can equate it to my training as a figure skater. I learned to keep repeating jumps and spins over and over again, working on the small nuances of my programs for competitions. Writing is an art and a science, just like a lot of sports. So that’s the mindset I adopted. It’s strategic, and it works.

Make no mistake – writing doesn’t always need revisions. Sometimes the most raw writing is best kept as written right away. But that generally works best in the case of blog posts, certain types of poetry, letters, op-eds. That’s some good cake. But generally for the best, it takes putting some icing on top. That’s revising. So whether you just write for fun, for work, or whether it’s your dream for your career — embrace revisions. You won’t regret it.

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