Revision? Is that the same as editing?

Once I wrote a first draft for a story.  Then I revised it and it became a second draft.  Then I revised it again and it became the third draft at which point I sent it to a consultancy for a report and it came back and I revised it again.  Sent it back, further revisions.  Then came the invitation to send the all-important first 50 pages with a view to it being called in.  Sent it. More tiny revisions.  Each time it’s like trying to find specs of dandruff on white velvet!!!

So I wondered . . . am I a revisionist, a post-revisionist, or even an ante-revisionist.  I’m rapidly becoming anti-revisionist, that’s for sure.  And then into my in-box this morning pops Nathan Bransford’s blog which I paste here for all those writers amongst you and even those who don’t write but like a bit of a laugh. (And PS: isn’t it beyond spooky that all these pointed emails are drifting in during my crisis of confidence?)

A cocktail party conversation:

Person #1: Wow, you’re a reviser? A published reviser??

Person #2: Yeah. I’ve revised five books now.

Person #1: Oh my god!! I can’t believe I’m actually talking to a published reviser!! How glamorous is that?

Person #2: Well, it’s hard work actually. I put a lot of time into my revisions.

Person #1: But to see your revisions on the shelf? What is that like?

Person #2: I’ve been revising since I was twelve, so…. it’s kind of a dream.

Person #1: Wow. Aren’t all revisers super rich?

Person #2: Not really. You’d be surprised at how little revisers make. I still have a day job, though of course the dream is to be a full-time reviser.

Person #1: You know… I’ve always thought everyone has one revision in them. Someday I’m just going to sit down and revise my memoir.

Person #2: Well… revising isn’t that easy. You don’t just sit down and revise, you should really study the craft.

Person #1: Oh nonsense, how hard could revising a book be?

Person #2: Would you look at that, my drink is empty. I’d better head to the bar. Nice meeting you. Good luck with that revision.