Does the number of revisions matter ? Virginia Woolf vs Mary Oliver
Updated: May 21
Jack Kerouac's was convinced with the idea of spontaneous expression. He thought revisions would not rectify writing but weakens it. Allen Ginsberg was also guided by his stance and his classics Howl and Kaddish were written in spontaneous approach. According to Ginsberg, Kerouc’s “ spontaneous bop prosody “ required an almost Zen like complete absorption, attention to our own consciousness, to the act of writing.
Virginia Woolf wrote in stream of consciousness and her bulk of work is in the first draft.
While Mary Oliver was keen for revisions and her poems were whittled by about even forty revisions.
According to Mary Oliver-- conscious self is a reliable partner and we don’t know the real process of transformation of the creative process. Discipline and polishing is important but the writers of stream of consciousness have different opinions.
So there is no unanimous vision upon the number of drafts.