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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

Knowing When to Stop Editing and Start Submitting

A common question that I've seen come up in writing groups (and that I've asked myself) is, "When do I stop editing?"

Let's take a look at some signs indicating it's time to let go of the self-editing and start sharing your work with the publishing world.


Perfection vs. Progress

Striving for perfection in your writing is an understandable goal, but impractical, in that no piece of writing is ever "perfect." At some point, the pursuit of perfection can and will become a hindrance.

Ask yourself: are the changes I'm making better, or different?

If the latter (or if you're unsure), that may be a sign that it's time to put the pen down, so to speak.

Create a Distance

It's important to be able to read your work as a reader rather than a writer. If you find yourself editing the same section(s) without improvement, it might be time to take a step back. Allow yourself some distance from the manuscript to regain a fresh perspective.

Fear of Critique

A reluctance to share your work may stem from the fear of critique or rejection. While it's natural to feel apprehensive, recognizing when this fear is hindering your progress is crucial. Constructive feedback is an invaluable part of the writing journey.

Listen to Feedback

If you're self-editing and not submitting your work for feedback, then all you're doing is creating a causal loop that will not go anywhere. You need fresh eyes.

If you are submitting your work for feedback, listen to it! You may feel like a piece is missing something, but your readers may not feel the same.


Remember that no piece of writing is flawless, and each submission is an opportunity for growth and improvement.

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