Revision is essential to the writer's work, at least insofar as doing so is a an actual re-visioning of the author's original intent—a method of getting closer to what he or she meant and desired to communicate in the initial draft. The first words, mes auteurs, are not always the best words, and if you want to be published someday, you've got to know (or learn) to revise.
Some writers prefer to revise as they go along, writing passages or chapters, revising/editing them, and moving on; others prefer to write the entire novel before going through for a second pass. I fall more into the former group than the latter, but I don't think either approach is superior to the other. My theory is: do whatever works for you.
Unless! (And here's the caveat you knew was coming): unless what "works for you" is not revising. There may—although I personally doubt it—be an argument for this in the realm of poetry, but I don't think it's ever a good idea to send unrevised (un-re-visioned, un-revisited, &c) fiction or nonfiction out into the world for potential publication (or, heaven forbid, self-publication). As mentioned above, the first draft is where the thinking takes place; the second (and subsequent) drafts are where the writing takes place, the correct words are chosen, the plot is tightened up, the craft is honed, the characters made flesh.
All this to say: you're going to be writing more than one draft, and if you're convinced you're a one-draft wonder, you're almost certainly wrong. Again, I'm not aiming this advice at the one-in-ten-million outlier. I'm aiming it at you.
That said, meine Autoren: what's your process for drafting new work? Do you edit as you go along, or once the entire draft is complete? Do you cut passages apart with scissors? Reorder chapters? Do you go through two drafts? Two dozen? Two hundred? Do you tend to revise on your own at first, or do you immediately enlist the help of others for your second (and subsequent) drafts?
To the comments!