Monday, May 10, 2010

There's No Such Thing as "Done"

I've written a book. Three books actually, although only one of them is already published, while the other will soon be sent out into the world to woo representation from an agent who will love it as much as I do. (The third... don't ask. It's been three years and I still haven't recovered from the crash of my hard drive.)

The books, technically, are both done. Which is what they have to be before they can be published or offered to an agent. Obviously.

But alas, experience tells me that in my own mind, they will never be "finished." Because despite the great reviews on Amazon, despite the positive comments from newspaper book reviewers, and regardless of the industry professionals who tout my book to their circle of influence on a regular basis, there are still things I'd like to change.

In both books. As well as just about every article, blog post, e-mail, or other document I've written.

I write quickly. Then I edit. Then I walk away. Then I reread, edit again, walk away again, and usually (particularly with shorter material), I'm done. Pleased with my work, I hit Send, happy with meeting my deadline.

Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to go back and read them again. And again.


After it's too late to make further changes. After it's already been read by the recipient. And I'm sure it will happen long after my agent is happily representing me and my book, offering it to editors, also thinking it is "done."

If I have to be honest (and I do), I've probably read my House Training book at least 36 times.

And I've never not found something I wished I could change.

Which brings me back to my original point: There's really no such thing as "done."

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