I liked Murray’s use of the verb “detach.” He used this verb when he wrote “They must detach them-selves from their own pages so that they can apply both their caring and their craft to their own work. ” This stood out to me because it reminds me of the importance of reviewing and revising one’s writing objectively, almost reading one’s work from a stranger’s point of view. While I think this process is helpful, I don’t believe that a person can be completely unbiased or somehow render the erase the mind of the words that were written. Also, I don’t think that most students have the time to revise like Ray Bradbury, who “supposedly puts each manuscript away for a year to the day and then rereads it as a stranger.” My view on revising is that besides self-revising, it is also critical to share one’s writing with others to receive constructive feedback.

I think revision will always be a part of writing. Most of the time, we don’t just type everything that is in our head out on the sheets. There is always some kind of filter that exists in our mind to help us with preliminary elimination of some useless material that should not be put into writing. So in a way, the first draft is already revised. Any additional revision can be made by filtering out additional information in our mind that we come up with spontaneously that will help us express our ideas in a more accurate way.

I believe that one of the most important things about revision is overcoming the stress that comes to our mind when we know that a particular sentence could be better, but it will take time and effort in order to make it so. While we may be willing to make this kind of sacrifice when writing something as significant as the Common App essay, we may not want to contribute to such a degree in our classwork. However, I believe that with experience, the process of revision will gradually become more instinctive and natural to undertake. I believe that the ability to revise is also a skill that can be built with practice.

Another important aspect about both writing and revision is the atmosphere that they require. When I am writing, I would like my room to be as quiet as possible, because I will be annoyed by every distraction, which always interrupt me in my stream of thoughts. However, I have heard that for some people, writing in a Starbucks table is most conducive for ideas. I feel that for them, although they are surrounded by a chatty atmosphere, the noise may actually calm them down and focus on their writing, though the smell may also factor into that. In general, I think that we need a comfortable atmosphere when we are writing or revising, so that it becomes easier for us to unleash any whim that may contribute to bettering the piece.


4 thoughts on “QSR1

  1. I also felt drawn to this word “detach.” I also thought that was cool to point out that we kind of always have a first draft before we write anything–we kind of revise as we write! Which, as you’ll see in the Learning Module for Tuesday, is a kind of reading while we write. The word “interpretation” might be useful here, since all reading and writing is a kind of interpretation–it is a reaction to another thing and we often do that *while* and even *before* we write, as you point out.

    The last paragraph you talk about the environment you write in (we also talk about this in the Learning Module for Tuesday!). Do you make a distinction between the comfort level you need to be at when writing vs. revising? For me, for instance, I find that I can write with upbeat and fast music but I can never revise with that kind of music. I even prefer silence, I think, when I revise. Why might that be? Something to think about. Might there be different skills or mindsets we need for initial writing vs. later revising and rewriting?

  2. I enjoyed the work you wrote about the Murray reading, detachment is never truly possible, so the point you brought about having others read our work is important. Revision is one of the long tasks of writing that we seem to overlook at times, so the Ray Bradbury example is important because none of us would likely wait a year to continue working on our work due to time constraints. I also agree with the idea that revision is easier over time, I also struggle with it and hope over time I can become a better writer.

  3. It’s definitely true that we have limited time and need to divide our attention based on what the writing piece is “worth” to us. I liked your remark about revision becoming gradually more instinctive, because there is a feedback that happens where we can also identify the writing style that works best to improve the initial draft. Easing your anxiety is a good point about doing required work in general, one doesn’t need to have fun but at least be comfortable.

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