In his blog and in print, Nik Sharma writes about growing up in the United States and India, and what he loves to cook and bake. He also writes about his diverse identities: life as an immigrant and married gay man. He does it all with grace and [Read more…] about Diverse Identities are Central to Food Writing, says Nik Sharma
How do you know when your writing is done or your blog post is finished? You could keep going over it endlessly, rewriting and wondering if you need to do more research or explaining. Or adding more keywords and spiffing up the SEO.
But if you do so, will it be finished then? Or maybe you’re not sure what constitutes “finished” in the first place.
As an editor, I know what it’s like to pull a piece away from a writer who wants to keep working on it. And as a writer, I also know what it’s like to refine right up to the last second. So I have some ideas that might help.
Here’s how you know when your writing is done:
1. You have a deadline. If an editor hasn’t given you one, set one anyway. Doing so helps you create an end for your work or post. My blog post deadline is Tuesday morning. I can’t keep working on each post forever that way.
2. You have been over the blog post, chapter, or story, many times. You gave yourself time for a thorough edit, and you don’t see what to change any longer.
3. You have spell checked every single sentence. Everyone hates typos. It makes you look careless. I find that even with spell check, errors creep in, so make time to print out the piece or post, and look it over carefully. Or have someone else read the post for you.
Also check all links to make sure they open correctly, and in a new window.
4. You met your criteria. If you have an assignment letter or a contract, review it. Or review your pitch letter and emails to make sure you’re sending the story the editor expects.
If you’re blogging and use regular structures for your posts, make sure your post complies. (You use links to past posts, for example.)
5. You have done your best. Do you feel satisfied that you have said what you wanted to say, the best you could? If you have a level of confidence about your piece or blog post, you’re done.
Do you have trouble letting go of a story or blog post? As an editor, I can relate. I can keep editing forever, it seems.
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