When Is It Done?
“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Issac Asimov
Like a lot of other artists writers never feel a piece is done. You always feel there’s ways to make a piece better. So, how do you know when a piece is ready to go out to your readership? As a hobby really it can be done whenever you want it to be done, but I can’t trust myself to make that call on my own. I will grind a story into ashes with rewrites and edits and I’ll never feel it’s perfect. I don’t know if any artist can. This is one of those areas where you just have to “feel” it’s right.
The first thing I try to consider is how important is the piece? If it’s a one-off story I’m working on just for the blog then I can be more forgiving to myself for it not being perfect. If I’m writing a series of stories or a novel then I’m much more critical of what the product looks like before it goes out to public.
The other factor I consider is the feedback I have received from the most recent reviews. If I’m still getting the similar questions or comments from most of the reviewers then I use that as an indication that there’s still work to do. If the reviews are shorter, and more nit picky then I know that I’m pretty close. All readers have their own opinions and when you’re giving a piece to someone to critique they’re going to feel the need to find flaws. So, at that point I pick what minor things I’ll adjust then send the last pass to my alpha readers. If they give it a general thumbs up then I send it to copy-edit and finally post it.
This process isn’t an exact science and while I can still look at old pieces and find things I could tweak I have to leave them alone and move onto the next story. I just have to keep reminding myself that each piece I let go out makes me a stronger writer and it makes it all the easier.