Most of you know that, in addition to being a writer, I am an artist. One of the keys to good painting is to know when one’s work is finished. There is always the temptation to add one more stroke of the brush, but that “one more stroke of the brush” could be fatal to the painting. Overdoing it destroys the painting’s freshness and spontaneity.
The same is true in writing. We can polish and polish our work until it loses its freshness. A key, therefore, to good writing (and good painting is to know when to stop.
Usually the type of writer who doesn’t know when to stop is the perfectionist. The perfectionist thinks that there is always something more that can be done to improve the work. The truth is that there is a point when a work is finished. To go beyond that point is to destroy the work.
If you struggle with always wanting your work to be perfect, remember that perfection is not excellence. Indeed, perfection can hinder excellence and even ruin it.
So the next time you get that inner feeling that your work is finished, stop! Then submit it and move on to your next project.