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The Revision: It’s Where the Real Writing Happens

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them. (Deuteronomy 12:32, NLT)

A Word For Writers

The Revision: #devotional for #writers based on Deut 12:32 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #editing

Revision is different than editing, although writers may mistakenly use the terms interchangeably. 

Revision allows you to narrow your topic focus. Often, it involves making major changes to a document’s content or structure by eliminating certain sections … completely rewriting others … adding details to make your point. An academic review board, for instance, may ask a researcher for several revisions before accepting a paper for publication.

Revision is where real writing happens. 

Editing, on the other hand, involves correcting grammar, substituting different words, and rearranging one or two sentences. Typically, your work will undergo editing only after revision.

Thomas Jefferson conducted one of the most infamous revisions in history. He used a razor blade and scissors to revise the New Testament, cutting out Jesus’s miracles and resurrection and leaving only the portions that portrayed Jesus as a man of morals. “The Jefferson Bible, as it is now known, included no signs of Jesus’s divinity,” says Erin Blakemore for The History Channel. “Most Christians would hardly recognize it.” 

Yet Jefferson’s revision did not bring his “project” into focus. Instead, his revision altered the work completely by removing the message of the New Testament – that Jesus is Lord. 

“You must not add anything or subtract anything from (it).” So God told his people in reference to scripture (Deuteronomy 12:32).

Jefferson used a process that’s essential for your writing and mine. He simply used it on the one piece of writing in all of history that didn’t need it.

A Wise Word

Revision is where real writing happens. 

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Your Word is sacred, but my writing is not. Show me how to revise my work to cut out the unnecessary and add details where needed to make my point.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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