"How do you know when you're "done" with editing and it's time to release your book (whatever writing form) out into the wilds?
I've been in the editing mode for... oh about two years now... but I'm beginning to suspect it's just an excuse to not actually publish because I'm terrified. I personally think it sucks and I am also super sensitive to negative criticism (and I know this is part of the realm too). I can be "done" by the end of the year (going through last edits for corrections) but I keep finding places where I could tweak this word, or that word... they aren't really corrections like spelling or grammar or punctuation or format. Again, maybe they are just delay tactics?
How do you decide when your work is "done"?"
And this was my answer:
"Yes, this most definitely is an issue for many, especially - the ones with less self-confidence. And, for decades, was part of my daily struggle as well.
I remember my DIL shared with me what one of her art professors taught her:
"An artwork (and a book or actually any text or creation can be included, right?) is never actually finished. At any moment, you can pick it up and change it a bit again."
The stories that we tell ourselves about wanting to create something if not perfect then at least decent/good enough, are just that: stories.
Our real struggle is with our identity, with who we believe we are, what we are capable of, and how much power over our feelings and identity we give away to "others".
But what if we are the ones creating all our future experiences (including the reactions of others to our creative work) by our (often unconscious) beliefs and expectations?
If that's the case (and it is) we can decide who we really want to be in the future (loving, serving creative people with appreciative following, f.i.) and live from that new identity.
Then, and only then, we are able to follow our intuition that knows for sure when to stop tweaking our work (and making it all about us) and releasing it into the loving hands and hearts of the ones praying for it to become part of their experience.
I discovered this only about half a year ago and am still learning, how not to spend too much time and energy in the old identity created by my old beliefs, but I'm getting there.
And life is much more enjoyable and easy not only for me, but for everybody around me already. So, I know from experience, it works and it can be learned as any other skill."
Any questions? Just ask! I would be more than happy to answer.
(Image: Artist Elizabeth Murray in her Manhattan studio)