Personally, I love revising. I love the process of carving really good prose out of potentially questionable prose. For some, revision is more of a necessary evil, and one you must constantly, consciously focus on or else the old “let’s make up a new story instead” nature can take over, and you may end up sending things out that really aren’t ready. I’ve critiqued a lot of pieces of students and clients, often after it’s been rejected, and I’d say the number one reason a good piece doesn’t get accepted is that it’s good, but it’s not ready. It could have been great, but the writer stopped at good enough.

Perhaps sometimes “good enough” will get you the contract and get you published. But, if you’re self publishing it’ll also tend to get reviews about “uneven pacing” or “rushed endings” or even just reviews with the word “rough” thrown in. Revision is about smooth. It smooths the raw edges where the writer’s intent bashes against the writer’s speed. Revision fixes continuity errors. It searches for the theme and makes it clearer and cleaner. Revision gets rid of most (though probably not all) typos and grammar errors. Revision makes sure the work is orderly.

In some ways, revision is a bit like cleaning out your junk drawer.

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