second chances

Like some of my classmates have expressed, I never appreciated revision until college. In high school, my classes mainly required in-class writing, and time constraints, convenient rubrics letting me know exactly what I needed for an A, even boredom led to my “one and done” philosophy towards writing. I wasn’t pushed until freshman year to actually, you know, think about the words I’d put to paper. Now I find the whole process weirdly calming. I’m a big backspacer and re-reader as I go, but even that isn’t enough to save me from the awkwardness of initial thoughts all running into and around and between each other. Somehow I’ve grown to enjoy stepping back and trying to see my writing from a different lens.

That said, I’m no stranger to those awful hours staring at the same page, rearranging paragraphs and words and commas hoping everything will somehow fit together, until finally reality sets in and I admit (sometimes only a temporary) defeat. The opportunity to revise, both directly in this class and just the practice of turning in multiple drafts by hard deadlines, has made me realize the amount of work that really goes into writing that we just don’t see. I think I tend to glaze over the actual painstaking effort of my favorite books and assume their authors just sat down and came up with genius on the first try (this theory is most definitely supported by the whole “one day JK Rowling sat down in a coffeeshop and wrote Harry Potter on a napkin” story). Of course I don’t know anyone’s writing process but my own, but I probably discredit the amount of hard work, not just talent, that goes into really great writing.

Margot Kriete

Hi! My name's Margot. I study computer science, have super long arms, never skip breakfast, and will probably become a German shepherd lady (as opposed to those "cat ladies") when I grow up. I like to cook, read, run, change my mind, and write.

One thought to “second chances”

  1. I feel you on this one! I had a class last semester where we had to submit a draft by a hard deadline, and then we a roundtable where everyone in the class read your paper and we went through and critiqued each person for a half hour. While I felt super vulnerable and scared and hated it at the time, the process of submitting a draft that I thought was my best work, getting tons of feedback on where I could change things, and then making a much improved final draft gave me a great sense of accomplishment and my work was much much better than it would have been with just one, final deadline.

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