A book is never done

A 1568 printing press by Jost Amman. Public domain.

A book is never done; it just goes to print.

People ask me all the time how I know when my books are done. I don’t believe any piece of
writing is ever really done. I’ve participated in readings where authors were sitting backstage
revising their published work before they read it.
At a certain point, you have to just decide the story is good enough, knowing full well that when you get the final copy in your hand, you’re going to see verbs that should have been stronger and repetition that slipped past you and points you thought you made that you somehow never did.
You’re going to wonder why you didn’t think to add this or notice that you really should have taken out that. You’ll remember all the people you forgot to thank in the acknowledgments page,
and you’ll ask yourself for the millionth time if that’s really the right title for the book.

You’ll see lines that are better than anything you ever thought you could write, and lines that make you wish you’d never picked up a pencil. You’ll find typos, no matter how many pairs of eyes have reviewed it, and you’ll find inconsistencies that someone should have caught, but didn’t. First you’ll beat yourself up about everything, then you’ll sigh heavily and say, “Well, I can fix that in the next edition or before the next print run.” Because, after all, even with all its flaws, it’s going to be a huge hit, right?

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