Where's the finish line?
There are many steps to writing.
There’s the idea, then the outlining, the actual writing, the editing, and then finding a market to send the story to. Being able to choose between projects at different parts of the writing process gives me a level of freedom. If I’m not in the mood to write I can edit. If I have a new idea in mind then I’ll outline. If I’m socializing my mind will quietly be fleshing out the next idea. But this freedom sometimes gives me a problem; my projects get stuck.
I have two short stories that have been in the middle of the editing for months now. I’ll think I’m done editing and send them to another beta reader, who has new suggestions and great points that need to be addressed. How do I know when the editing is done? I mean beta readers are always going to have comments to make, and not everyone is going to like every piece. When is the right time to find the market and send the piece out into the world?
I think it’s a question that every writer asks. One answer is to have a submission deadline; even if the editing is not done the piece has to go out of the door to get considered. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to start this publishing company, if deadlines help me unstuck editing projects then it’ll probably help other writers too.
Are there other answers?
Honestly I haven’t found another way that works for me. As I read more I become a better writer, and as I edit old pieces again, and again, and again, I keep seeing new and different ways to make the piece better. Until I force the deadline, or stop seeing ways to make the piece better, it’ll always stay in the editing process for far too long.