The Beauty of Revision

No piece of writing is perfect—and no piece of writing is ever finished. 

As I wrote through my first draft of the literacy narrative, not only did I find it difficult to find my voice, but even any sort of inspiration. It was almost as if I was in an endless spiral thinking about the one literacy I know by heart, from my culture, to hobbies, and even the things about my life that try its best to be hidden. However, I realized that I had to start somewhere, that I don’t need to start with the perfect sentence or perfect paragraph—I can write about anything. With two passionate topics I narrowed down to, office hours were especially helpful in letting me come to a consensus that there is total freedom in synthesizing both literacies. 

At the same time though, it was difficult at first to write with my individual voice and vividly describe my memories with meaning with figurative language, style, and structure so my readers can imagine themselves in my footsteps with as much sensory details and dialogue.

Since my writing felt so personal and intimate to me, I was insecure about peer revision, something that I’m sure all writers may feel. But revising my own attitude towards revision was the first step—my writing will get nowhere if I don’t open up to a new set of eyes looking at my writing as the reader, not the writer. 

It wasn’t until after the peer revision process that I realized there is always room for improvement, no matter how big or small the change may be. Every line, every sentence, every word, every punctuation mark—they each have potential for refining the writing and fill in the gaps that may not have seemed so significant before. Now, every letter has meaning to it. 

Throughout this revision process—that initially seemed slow, tedious, and even agonizing—I came to the conclusion that only a positive attitude towards revision will allow me to get better at writing and peer review. As I delete and add something, as I read aloud whispering or screaming with different tones, as I work on my writing for two minutes to two hours, I can now see how much I actually learned through the process. From my literacy in my culture to mental illness, I realized how much more there is to the importance of our communities, and how we can join conversations for our “imagined” future. 

It is the beauty of revision: to acknowledge the praises, and accept the criticism we receive. My writing will get better, and only get better if I let itself become vulnerable and exposed to multiple perspectives. I must detach myself from the own words that I wrote and instead, revise like a reader and not forget that I am the writer.

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