[Max’s discussion response:]
It had always seemed odd to me that revision is a part of the infamous linear writing process as it’s fundamentally recursive and circular in nature. I think of revision as its own process, separate from the stages of planning, pre-writing, and writing. For me, revision in writing has always been sporadic; bits and pieces of revision taking place while writing, directly after writing, and well after writing (a day or two after; a week or two after; even, a year or two after). I can confidently say revision is endless; it has no limits. The language that communicates our thoughts and ideas on paper can be enhanced, altered, changed, or deleted at any moment in time or space. And, just because the author enhanced multiple parts of their original draft does not mean they are disowning that specific thought or idea; it simply means they are challenging their initial argument, searching intently for thought patterns and changing the language when necessary to make the argument more effective. Yet, challenging your own thought patterns is a metacognitive process that takes practice, patience, and persistence.
One of the twenty experienced writers in Sommer’s case study defined their process of revision as, “I rewrite as I write. It is hard to tell what is a first draft because it is not determined by time. [. . .]. I am constantly writing and rewriting” (Sommers 383). The above quoted definition of revision is also my definition of revision. Perhaps, revision has always seemed excluded from the process as it easily, and most often than not, unconsciously, occurs within each separate step of the linear writing process. Revision is an entire process all by its lonesome. I like to think of revision as a self-proclaimed theoretical, philosophical process in which the wise mind questions, interacts with, and responds to their initial ideas or point of view. Revision is a difficult process because, as humans, we often become attached to our views, ideas, perspectives, and thought patterns as they all ultimately define a major aspect of our being. Our ideas fuel the energy that drives our body and motives forward, so naturally, it’s hard to erase, delete, or edit a thought we once loved dearly but no longer resonate with. I suppose the secret to master of the art of revision is to “never fall in love with what [you’ve] written in a first or second draft” because you might just have to kill your babies to understand them further (Sommers, 384).
With that reality, the ability to detach from one’s own writing when necessary is a salient skill writers and authors should practice and conduct further research on in the field of revision. The author should be taught to revise and question through an objective lens; like how I observed my writing in responding to Michael’s discussion reading on voice. If one were to ask me about my voice in writing, I could give a synopsis of what I think it may sound like regarding my life story. I come with assumptions and preconceived perceptions of who I think I am vs. who I really am. Therefore, I conclude that finding voice in writing can be just as challenging as author’s discovering it for themselves. Perhaps, that’s why revision and voice in composition studies are rare amongst other research topics. Perhaps, there is an interrelated connection between the two that we’ve yet to fully uncover.
Francesca Di Fabio