“Whatever… I’d rather just write a really, really good first draft and then I’ll barely have any more work to do…”
This is how I would categorize my thoughts on revision for a large portion of my life, and while maybe it worked in high school…not so much anymore. I’ve come to understand that there is always revision to be done, and more importantly revision is more than just “cleaning up” or “polishing”. I’m not sure if it’s the nature of this class, but I’ve definitely spent more time revising in Writing 220, and the nature of my revisions have been much more in depth. I haven’t been as afraid to completely rework and argument or add in a whole new idea. I’ve also learned how important it is not to get so attached to a draft.
A couple of things I’ve found extremely helpful about the revision process in Writing 220:
1. Self Reflective Comments – they really help in taking a step back from your own work and reading it in a different way. It’s nice to be able to leave the instructor notes, ask questions, defend why you made certain decisions, and acknowledge where you still need to strengthen an argument or clarify your ideas.
2. No Final Drafts – it’s a simple change in wording, but I honestly think that the use of “first draft” and “second draft” make a difference. When I turn in a final draft in a class I have this feeling that my work is done and it is what it is. Yet in this class there is no sense of “final”. Even the draft we turn in to be graded can still be revised and reworked.
3. Peer Workshops – maybe it’s simply because I’ve never peer reviewed a website or a video before, but I feel like the peer workshops in this class have a different feel to them. We focus less on minor grammatical or structural issues and more on the big picture.
I will admit, I don’t always find revising to be the most enjoyable part of writing. It’s hard, frustrating, and often a slow process. Yet when I look back at the entire progression from proposals to storyboarding to first and second drafts, it’s amazing to see how far an idea can come the more we revise it.