I know many people hate the dreaded “r” word. Revision. For some, it’s enough to send them into panic mode, complete with shivers, palpitations, and sweaty palms. I think most of my students feel this way about revision, and if I’m honest with myself, I used to dread revisions, too–not to the above extreme, but I didn’t like them. I was impatient. I wanted to be “done” with whatever project I was writing.
If there’s something I’ve learned during the process of writing a book-length manuscript is that there are no shortcuts. And this includes revision. Patience, in the words of the age-old adage, is a virtue. I failed to see that before, rushing through because I wanted to get work out. Not anymore. Whenever I get the itch that I just want to send this out already, I remind myself, it’s not ready yet. Almost, but not quite. I know this. And I want it to be ready when I send it out.
But here’s the thing. I’ve gone from dreading revisions to actually loving them! Sure, I still get impatient, but the wonder at seeing how each revision adds a layer to my story, my characters so that they stop being rough caricatures keeps me grounded. I recently emailed a former instructor about how I felt like a kid discovering Disney during this process, and how I hope it never gets old.
It’s that sense of wonder and discovery that now makes me yell out to whomever will listen, including my students, I LOVE REVISIONS! 🙂