Do any of you feel like you can always keep editing your work, until you decide you just have to flippin' stop?!

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Post by Guest »

I can edit till the cows come home. Every time I read a piece I've written, I will change some words.

If I read that piece 42 times, I will make changes every damn time. And then I find myself saying "just once more" and I will read & edit again and again until I decide I have to stop reading it and let it be good enough.

It's not errors I'm fixing at this point, I just keep rearranging my words.

I'm never like "that's perfect I'm not going to change a word!" because every time I read it I will absolutely change some words.

Just curious if there are others here who have to make themselves stop editing because it will never end?

Post by Chris »

A creative writing tutor I had advised me against excessive editing as you'll always find points to tweak and it will become a distraction from completing the book.

Post by David »

I sent my novel to the editor yesterday and I am having self-editing withdrawal symptoms right now! It is killing me!

Post by Jason »

Quit reading like a writer at some point and read it like a reader. If you find yourself enjoying it, stop editing it and move on. If not- one, you'll never finish, and two, you can find yourself in an infinite loop.

Post by Pamela »

Yes. I can wordsmith forever. When all you are doing is tweaking words, it’s time to either stop or set the project aside for a while.

Post by Greg »

Yes. Make sure the major things are corrected and then give yourself a stopping point. A draft deadline, so to speak. If not you will go on forever. Be like, "I'm gonna go through it one more time" after that major necessary edit is done. Or two. Or whatever. But set the expectation with yourself outside of how you are feeling in the midst of the process.

A project is never complete, there's just a point where it's "due". One of my writing teachers in college told me that and this is so accurate.

Post by Lori »

I finally had to stop! But even after I uploaded the ebook to Amazon, things popped into my head. "OH, I should have described that scene THIS way!" That sort of thing. I am having a hard time accepting that my book is finished and to let go. It's like watching a child leave home for good.

Post by Brian »

I edit any piece twice then I get my son to read it and then I read it out loud and if it sound OK I leave it alone until I am ready to send it off then I read it again one last time...

Post by Greg »

Always “needing” to re-edit a piece because you know there will always be a necessary change, is evolution. Hone it, polish it, hell, do a magic chant with a ritualistic dance if that suits your fancy, but accept that the story has been told and throw it to the wolves, “beta readers” and THEN edit it one last time.

Post by Bernard »

That is exactly the same approach that engineers have. They would work on tweaking their design until the cows come home or they retire which ever comes first... They stop ONLY because the project manager says "that's it!". Perfection is not possible. Great is good enough and good enough is often adequate.

Post by Matt »

Yes, I've only put one piece out there, but I learned with that that it's never "finished". It's just to the point where I decide "screw it; I'm done with it".

Post by Danielle »

5 years editing the same script. On the one hand, it's so much better than it was 5 years ago. On the other hand, I'm about to lose my mind up in here, up in here.

Post by Wendy »

I have noticed this too. Keep in mind that you are a different writer every time you read it. We grow every minute and with every piece of writing. Nothing will ever be perfect because we are constantly evolving and striving to be better.

Post by Nuha »

Absolutely! I first did this when I decided to change a character’s name, so I went back to each time I wrote his name to change it, and each change came with some spilling and grammar corrections. Then came the tinkers in the details or storyline. Then the change/deleting of whole chapters!

When everyone was telling me to just STOP editing and continue writing, I took their advice like the good listener that I am. But like the sneaky middle child that I also am, I found another way to edit: to continue writing, I needed to read the last paragraph to know where did I stop last, and that paragraph WILL have something that needs changing… and the cycle starts once again.

In conclusion, I found out that’s another form of procrastination without actually not writing. Wish I can tell you how to stop doing that. The only thing that worked for me was to stop writing all together, and it has been a couple of months now that I haven’t even opened the laptop.

Post by Carole »

Heck, I go back and edit stuff that has already been published. I always think there's a way to make things a little bit better, even though nobody else will ever see it, and I know I'll never be satisfied anyway. It seems it's my life's work. So be it!
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