Revision Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old revision quotes, revision sayings, and revision proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.     

Kelly Barnhill

One great aim of revision is to cut out. In the exuberance of composition it is natural to throw in - as one does in speaking - a number of small words that add nothing to meaning but keep up the flow and rhythm of thought. In writing, not only does this surplusage not add to meaning, it subtracts from it. Read and revise, reread and revise, keeping reading and revising until your text seems adequate to your thought.     

Jacques Barzun

God Himself has reserved no right of revision of His own laws nor is there any need for Him for any such revision.     

Mahatma Gandhi

But revision is a creative act, not merely an analytical imposition of rules of style on a more creative first draft. That's a myth - that the first draft is more creative and everything after that is ruining creativity.     

K. M. Soehnlein

Revision is its own reward.     

Marianne Moore

Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing.     

Bernard Malamud

The moment clients realize that revisions are not an all-you-can-eat buffet, suddenly they realize they are not hungry.     

Lester Beall

The novel is never really in the first draft. The novel really happens in the revisions.     

Tama Janowitz

The writer’s life is a life of revisions.     

Jonathan Franzen

Revision is not the end of the creative process, but a new beginning. It's a chance not just to clean up and edit, but to open up and discover.      

John Dufresne

The great thing about revision is that it's your opportunity to fake being brilliant.     

Will Shetterly

Revision, once well done, becomes a sort of automatic itch which you scratch in the next work without thinking about it.     

Romulus Linney

In revision, your imagination becomes deeply engaged with your material. It's when you come to know your characters and begin to perceive their motivations and values.     

John Dufresne

Revision is a good impulse to have.     

Rigoberto Gonzalez

Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.     

Richard Branson

Revision is not going back and fussing around, but going forward into the process of creation     

May Sarton

Writing is revision. All prose responds to work.     

Tracy Kidder