How to know when to stop.

I could re-write forever. Indefinitely tinker and edit. Swapping out words and phrases, trying to get it just right. But now I have a deadline. So eventually I am just going to have to call it done.

Now, I am currently nowhere near the point of being able to do that. After my first draft I essentially cut huge parts out and started those chapters from scratch. Re-writing those chapters is taking forever. Instead of focusing on where I am now (editing quick sand) I am planning ahead (aka procrastinating).

Sometimes its hard to see the end point. The day where I will look at my writing and think, yep, I am happy with this. It wasn’t any different in school. Rarely did I turn a paper in where I was fully content with my submission. It only ever felt done after I had received my grade. There are no grades in publishing. No teachers either. Instead feedback comes in the form of reviews and profit…. and at least for the reviews portion, it is very public, and primarily very permanent. If your book is a success, everyone will know it. Which is great, until your book is a failure, and everyone knows it.

Honestly, I am not sure I will ever really feel done. The one downside of ebooks vs. print. You can always upload another version, make corrections, edit. Many of the most recent successful ebooks (Wool, The Martian) started with a very public rough draft version before slowly being worked into the current version. I could only hope for such a process.


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