Vision, revision, revisited

26 November 2004

Back when I was taking Warren Hayman’s intro to non-fiction writing class, he encouraged me to write about my own writing style and habits. In doing so, he provided me a paper of his own that was geared towards a similar theme. The title of that paper was Vision, Revision, and it’s probably still floating around on my hard drive someplace.

For me, a great deal of the vision / revision process takes place in my head. This means I don’t produce the pages of drafts and edited material that so many writers seem to generate. Consequently, when teachers ask to see the process that lead up to a submission draft I’m at a loss as to how to provide them with it.

“I’m sorry, it’s in my head. Would you like an MRI of my brain?”

This methodology, whereby the majority of my writing work goes on in a mindspace and does not manifest in the physical world until hours before the work itself must be submitted, has been a source of stress for me throughout my college career. While I did use the same exact technique all throughout my elementary and high school years, it was never a source of stress then.

Why? Simply because I never knew that there was a more ‘right’ way to do things. Seeing my college friends dutifully slaving away at keyboards to produce papers weeks before they are due, I often beat myself up wondering, “Gosh, shouldn’t I be doing the exact same thing?”

No, of course I shouldn’t. There’s no point in stressing over not using someone else’s process when my own works just fine.