Skip to main content

Revision Fridays: Revisions or writing?

I know I’m supposed to work on my revisions, and that’s what I did yesterday, and the day before. Painstakingly push first drafts to the second, second to the third and so on. You get the drift.

But what I love doing are the bursts of speed writing, pieces that lead nowhere, like this one based on a picture prompt by Rick Mobbs.
What do you like more—first drafts or revisions?
Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Talha says:

    I am here for first time so may be after sometime I'll able to tell what I like more Writing or revision.

  • Damyanti says:

    First of all apologies for the late replies…I have been travelling and did not have good internet access…

    @Golden Eagle I love first drafts at times, when they come in a smooth flow! Other times, I like how much revisions improve my writing.

    @Madeline Thanks for your comment on my other blog…I love doing the speed-writing bursts for practice, it is like lifting weights, a warm-up and strengthening before I do my stories.

    @M Pax, revisions Are writing 🙂 only they get hard to do sometimes.

    @ Angela, you're a goddess. I wish I could do that.

    @Clarissa, yes, I'm with you there. It is when I revise that I realise how much I suck.

    @ Linda, you're a great writer, and I'm sure whichever process you choose will work for you 🙂

    J.L. Me too, I feel exactly the same. Only I try to treat the re-writes like first drafts, and just jump into the flow…

    Janna, I envy you, Lady!

  • JannaTWrites says:

    I like both. I like the ease of just getting the story on paper, but I also enjoy the challenge of editing it into something that may be acceptable for other eyes to read!

  • First drafts come with a rush that keeps my creative juices bubbling. Revision feels like work.

  • shoreacres says:

    It's funny – my current post about snow in Texas is the first blog post I've ever done with a full first draft. I sat down, hand wrote for about eight pages, and then went to work.

    Of course, I'd been thinking and thinking about it, which makes a difference. Because of the nature of my work, I have great chunks of time during the day to just think, so I often have an outline in my head – or little directional markers – before I start to write.

    But mostly, I edit as I write. Sometimes I have a title and a last paragraph and fill in the middle. Something I have a though and work in both directions. And sometimes the piece takes me somewhere I never intended to go.

    Generally, my writing unrolls – as Annie Dillard says, stem to leaf to bole, as an organic whole. For larger pieces, real stories, longer essays, I suspect it might not work so well. But I don't know that!

  • If I could, I would only write first drafts. Revisions are where the shine wears off and I become aware of all of my flaws.

  • Angela Scott says:

    Each is good in its own right. I love to write my first draft and get my ideas down. But it's the revision process where my story truly comes together and writing itself is polished and presentable. I need both–but at the right time. If I edit, I edit my face off. If I'm writing, I try and do nothing else so I can just let the creativity flow.

  • Madeleine says:

    I love the bursts of spontaneous writing too. Though I am always revising my stuff :O)

  • M Pax says:

    I'm trying to think of revisions as writing. it is and I love the end result.

    But writing something new is usually more fun.

  • Madeline says:

    Honestly, I like revisions better. The first draft for me is just so terrible, it makes me beyond excited for revisions and knowing everything is about to get ten times better. It's always more fun that way, and much more encouraging.

    I love your speed writing! Maybe I should try daily speed writing, I do love little pieces that lead to nowhere, the ones that are just poetic and entertaining. 😀

  • First drafts. I can be a whole lot more free with my writing.