"What is required, if your essay and your writing skills are going to improve by leaps and bounds, it a total reconsideration of each and every element of your essay.
...living room metaphor. If you are serious about remodeling, what you really need to do is to move each and every piece of furniture our onto the front lawn, roll up the area rugs, take pictures down from the wall, perhaps even dismantle the outdated lighting fixtures, and then, on a case by case basis, decide what returns to the room and where it will be situated.
So, in a true revision of an essay, the same principle holds.: Nothing remains in your essay - not the opening scene, not the funny anecdote in the middle, nor your elegant closing paragraph - unless it serves the purpose of the essay that is taking shape on the page."
- Dinty W. Moore, Crafting the Personal Essay