First Drafts and Peer Editing

MOBY DICKAs this school year has gone on, I’ve realized something.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try on a story, essay, review, or whatever it might be, you won’t be happy with how it turned out.  Everybody writing blogs here does regular peer editing with each other, and almost every single session one of us will look around and say, “Guys, I’m so sorry for what you’re about to read,” or something along those lines.  It’s never a really serious comment, but it’s obvious that whatever we wrote didn’t meet our expectations that we initially had created for it.

What’s good about peer editing though, is that the quality of your writing doesn’t matter.  I mean, you of course want to make an effort, but the quality isn’t what’s important.  The sole purpose of exchanging and reviewing your work with others is to hear what needs to be said; how you can make your writing better.  If you write a bad first draft, it’s not a big deal.  In our most recent session, somebody gave me back one of my essays with everything but the last few sentences of a two page essay crossed out with the words, “Build your essay around that.”  Although it might seem harsh, he was right.  My essay didn’t really have a focus, it was just random thoughts about a topic compiled onto a piece of paper.  Next week, I’ll have something to build off of.

I guess what I’m trying to get across is, you will have good writing, and you will have terrible writing.  It’s just a matter of what you do with it.  If you don’t seek help, and turn in the same draft for your 1st, 2nd, and final drafts, what’s the point?  Your writing won’t always reflect the amount of effort you put into it, but with consistent practice, you can see results.  Anyway, that’s it for this week readers.  Peace!

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