In 1958, George Plimpton interviewed Ernest Hemingway and asked about his rewriting process. This is part of that interaction:

INTERVIEWER: How much rewriting do you do?


HEMINGWAY:  It depends. I rewrote the ending to Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.


INTERVIEWER: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?


HEMINGWAY: Getting the words right.

— The Art of Fiction No. 21,

Paris Review, Spring 1958, No. 18


It is my opinion that revision can be just as hard as writing the original story. And sometimes, even harder.

Read more here.

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