I like revising–literally, re-seeing. I’m so left-brained that it’s often easier for me to revise and edit something already there than it is to write something in the first place. Not all writers are left-brained, and not all writers like revising. I tell my writing students there are two extremes.
The first comprises those who edit themselves all the times, changing words as they go, trying to eke that idea out while being yelled at by their “inner critic” or “inner editor.” The other extreme incluides those who just want to shoot that draft out in one fell swoop (I believe it was Coleridge who claimed to have done that with one of his poems, until rough drafts were discovered later) and would really rather not revise it at all. They don’t like all that nitpicky sort of thing.
We each write differently, and we each revise differently–maybe not totally differently, just like we don’t each speak a unique language–but we do each have a unique dialect (it’s called your idiolect), and that’s probably a better analogy. So what I’m about to describe may resonate with you, or somewhat click, or not even come close.
Like many writers, I fall somewhere in-between those two extremes I mentioned in the first paragraph, but I’m definitely closer to the first of the two. I have a strong inner critic. I have to beat him back with a stick in order to let ideas and creativity (aka “right brain”) flow. But just knowing that about myself as a writer helps arm me for the battle.
For instance, I started what eventually became my first published novel by freewriting. What a wonderful exercise that is, and what an ironic wonder that a left-brained writer creatively thought it up one day. (After all, why would a right-brained writer need it? They already have ideas. What they sometimes lack is follow-through, but that’s not what freewriting’s for.)
But to write, nonstop, for seven or eight minutes, from some kind of kernel of initial idea, yes, but just a kernel is all you need–then just write, don’t judge, don’t question, don’t stop–in other words, hit the off-switch on your inner critic. Then stop and look back at that seven-to-eight minutes worth of words, which, by the way is a pretty good word-horde for me in any one nonstop stint of writing–and voila! see what you’ve got and you have what you see.
You can edit it later. And you should. But now you’ve got something to work with.