My least favorite part of the writing process is revising. I’m someone who doesn’t like to do anything halfway. My rough drafts aren’t just vague ideas thrown at a page in hopes that something readable will eventually emerge. I like to revise even my very initial drafts to try and make them as good as they can be. And when I submit something for peer review, it means that work is something that I’m proud of. So when it comes time to get that work deconstructed and rebuilt with the help of my peers, it’s hard for me. I get instinctively defensive of my work, and I don’t want people to dismiss my effort without giving it enough time or thought. In short, I’m distrustful of other people’s edits and revisions.
I understand that this is a flaw. Every piece of writing, no matter how good or how bad, needs a fresh pair of eyes and a little bit of revision. It’s important to be able to sit back and let others tell you what your piece needs to improve on, no matter how difficult that is to do. Something that I’ve been trying to do in an effort to fix this problem is to make sure I find peer editors and reviewers who I really trust and whose opinions I value. I think having that ethos behind the reviewers gives them an extra level of credibility to the point that I’m willing to take their advice at face value. I need reviewers whose revisions I will react to with interest rather than instinctive defensiveness. And I think I’m in the process of making that work. Revisions are definitely important, and it’s time I give them the attention they deserve.