Many writers never finish their work and send it off to an editor, agent or publisher simply because they never feel it’s finished. So when do you know when your work is actually done?
You don’t. But you have to decide it’s done. Here’s how I do it.
Typically, I either have a deadline someone else has given me, like a magazine editor, or most recently, my editor at a publishing house, or I give myself a deadline. When that deadline comes, I’m done—whether I like it or not. At that point, I stop working on the article, essay or book. Many times I don’t ever reread the piece. I don’t want to know if I could have improved it! It just causes me heartache. Now, if I am given a chance to improve it at some later date, of course, I will reread it then and make improvements.
That’s the thing: It’s always possible to improve your writing. So, you have to call it quits at some point. Therefore, you have to choose a point in time to say, “Enough. I’m done.”
So, pick a day, an hour, a minute. Hit save. Turn in your work. Don’t look back. That’s when you’re done editing your work.