‘Daddy, tell me the fairytale again about the writer who writes everything perfectly the first time.’

When I was in college, I thought that published professors were prolific because they never had to edit. I believed they wrote everything perfectly, the first time.
I had a teacher who wouldn’t give up on me and my writing. She urged me to edit, and finally, one night my computer went down and I had to rewrite a paper I had just written from the beginning (for those of you who don’t remember, computers didn’t use to make automatic copies, you had to remember to save it. I turned off my computer without saving and had t start over.) It was 11:00 PM on a Sunday night and the paper was due at 8:00 AM.
I had no other choice but to write it again. It came out better than any paper I’d ever written. My teacher asked me what I had done, and I told her my sad story. She recommended I treat all my papers that way in the future, write it, don’t save it, and write it again.
I lamented that I wasn’t like her. She looked puzzled about what I was comparing. I told her I couldn’t write an article correctly the first time. She laughed and asked me what I thought the seven containers of colored paper in her office were form.
I had seen the bins, but had never thought about what they were for. “You like colors?” I said. This time she had a hearty laugh.
‘No,’ she said. I write all my articles seven times. Each color is an edit. I only write on white for the last edit. Then, if my paper doesn’t get published seven times, I write it again and send it off again.
She was often published using her method. No, I don’t want to get into a discussion about methods of editing. What I want to stress is that however you decide to go about editing, it is a major part of the writing process. I would venture a guess that editing is 80% of writing.
Think about it this way: Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I’m suggesting similarly that writing is 20% getting word on paper, then 80% editing those words until you get it right. Editing is the perspiration part of writing.