I have a question for the writers.


I have a question for the writers.
My writing is about my experiences in life so I reckon I am writing my baggage, but…
It seems silly asking a question for “the writers” because really, all bloggers are writers.  I have written so many chapters of my story, but every time I go back and read the chapters, I find myself editing more and more.  It’s almost as though I will never ever stop editing.  I have read over my words so many times now that I’m sure I could recite some of my chapters off by heart already.  I used to send my writing to a friend but I no longer feel welcome doing that, so now, I’m sorting it out by myself without any expert opinion, but I digress…
My question: do you ever feel happy that your writing is ready, or do you always feel as though you could change more? When do you know when to stop re-organising your words?

90 thoughts on “I have a question for the writers.

  1. As a recovering perfectionist, I can relate so well to your question 😉 For me, writing is a journey, an evolution of sorts. It isn’t about the one piece that I am writing. Rather, it is about the progression of the story, the trend over time.

    I have been blogging for just over a year now. When I go back and read the very first post I ever published, I look at it and think, “I actually wrote this junk.” 🙂

    At the time, it was who I was, what I was feeling in my heart and soul. And for that, it is inexplicably valuable. As I read my old posts, over time, I realize the voice that has been hiding inside has grown up, matured, and allowed itself out through my words. And I sincerely hope that continues.

    The barometer I use for when to hit the publish button is emotion. When I feel something (whether it be happiness, joy, sadness, anger) through my words, I know that it is ready. Emotion is what drives me, it’s what motivates me to write. To express emotion and share it with others. It’s an art, not a science, but it’s something that grows inside with experience, just like your voice.

    Thanks for sharing and best wishes for an inspired day 😉

  2. The day someone feel I am perfect and successful , that is the day he will failed badly. We must live like a student , a person who is eager to learn and improve, So do in writing.

  3. Short answer, there will come a time when you will know you can do no more. I find the best thing to do when I can’t stop fiddling is walk away for a while, if the work is on paper, its away in a drawer, when its e-work, I put it on a stick and put that away. It was the worst when I was studying with the OU, I’d trash an essay and write it again to find it near identical. So I think its always good to put your work away for a while, you can then go back and check it over with fresh eyes and maybe get closure!!!!!!!! If you ever want a proof reader let me know!

  4. If you re-read your work, you will always find a change that “can be made”. I find three times through for me is the limit. Otherwise it becomes a rewrite, which is different than an edit. I think that is a good rule. Then let others read for editing. Then allow it to fly.
    On blogs posts, the only editing I do is for spelling and sentence structure. It goes like an entry in a journal…the first pass is the best, most honest and most entertaining. Great Posts for gettin’ us thinking. Big hugs for a spectacular day!

    • Thanks so much Amber. I think I do the same for blog posts, but as for the other writing I think the idea of a three time limit is good. Thank you for your advice 🙂

  5. That is an Excellent Question. I often find that I could revise and revise and revise, never stopping in a perpetual cycle, BUT if you intend to publish, at some point you have to be satisfied. You need to trust that what you’ve written is what you want it to be…it says what you want it to say. If I am unsure, I will allow someone else to read it and request feedback. If the feedback is positive, trust yourself and run with it 😉

    Hope this helps 🙂

  6. Honestly, I write, then rewrite and hit publish when it’s one that I feel the need to publish that day. However, there are posts that I write in draft that I rewrite often and always before I publish. They sometimes need to be reworked because I’ve already talked about that topic or because my thoughts have changed. Your posts are awesome! Keep up the great writing! ♥

  7. What you’ve asked if exactly why an editor is a good idea. The end product of writing is victim to our internal critics, an ever changing voice that doesn’t like to take a nap. The end is a decision point, based on writer decision and feedback from editors validating that glitches have been corrected and it’s a smooth read. I find it nearly impossible to end my writing without an editor. That said, really it’s done when you decide it’s done. As to my reading what you write, you write beautifully, from the heart, from what reads as an authentic voice, it pulls me in and engages me when I read your posts. Trust in your beautiful heart and just decide when you deem it finished if you don’t go with an editor (for cost? timidity? whatever reason). love, Paulette

  8. This is a good subject. I have no idea how to write books, but as far as blog posts, I very rarely alter them. They tell the story as it was meant to be told at that time, hence they are left alone. I just love the photos of HRH! Such a handsome king.

  9. I too am an over-editor over and over.

    I read something on another post by a published author. She says she doesn’t stop, doesn’t look back – no matter what. She makes manual notes when typing and even it is finished she goes over it, over and over.

    Maybe this helps.

  10. Great question! I edit and edit until when I read it aloud in my head, it doesn’t sound like me in my original primitive draft, but sounds more like a finished product. The core is still there. The message is still there. It just has to be beautifully polished – like getting dressed for my first prom.

  11. That’s a good question… I kept changing and changing and in the end got an editor who changed it all again, but I do prefer her edits… it is so difficult I found to end on something one is happy with,,, and the longer it lies the more I seem to change it back to what it was, but I never reached a point of total satisfaction… the edited version from the editor reads like a book should… and it was only then that I noticed how bad my English actually was… but hey all to their own… what ever you find makes you happy, after all it is your book… I just prefer what someone else says it should be,,,

  12. I worked with Colonialist as editor on my first book and it helped having another set of eyes. He was a star. Grammar phrasing etc.
    But we had a few telephone ”punch ups” over a couple of scenes! LOL. 🙂
    I spent a whole afternoon researching the dynamics of a perishing tractor and the visibility issues if it was fitted with a large bucket for clearing snow just to include two lines.
    *Shakes head*
    His help was also invaluable on certain technical issues ( a car crash scene for one).

    My son helped too. Just by having someone else read bits and pieces is a great help.

    I re-look at it now and then and in general I am pleased with the result.
    I am busy editing my next book as I write – the MS is open in another window – and there are pages I have read some parts a b’zillion times and yet some words still sound out of place or grammatically incorrect.
    Watch the adverbs!
    Read it to someone you trust. Try reading in front of a mirror!
    It gets easier as you become more experienced as a writer.

      • It will help you develop rhythm and cadence.
        You will soon hear if a sentence sounds awkward or not your ”voice.”
        At some point you should turn it over to ‘fresh eyes’.
        As Bulldog noted; if you want it to sound professional then have it looked at.

        There are also lots of websites that offer a wide range of advice.
        I tend to use my favorite authors as a basic guide, for many things and if it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me!
        And read, read, read. It is said you can’t be a writer if you are not a reader.

  13. I’m not a writer as such Michelle, although I do like to do the odd factual essay type post. All I know is this, I’m forever tinkering with everything! Virtually every post I make a mistake, I pity my poor email readers!!
    I do like to keep improving on my posts, and theres nothing wrong with that. It makes for a better experience for those who see it later.

    Sorry to hear you lost your editor, you can of course switch on the WordPress proof reader. By the way have you just started a new FB page called Michelle’s Digital Doodles? xx

  14. In my opinion, everyone is different
    but for me, I know when to stop rearranging when my heart feels right.
    Enjoy reading your work
    Thanks for following
    GOD Bless

  15. It is never perfect. A stage comes, though, when one has to say, ‘Enough tinkering!’
    Funny, the author can chop and change every few seconds, but let the editor try it and there are squeals to high heaven.

  16. Yours is indeed an excellent question. I attempt to first write from my heart, as I believe when anyone does anything from the heart, it is beautiful and likely to resonate with others. I used a good and relatively inexpensive editor for several of my books. I’ll be happy to share her name and contact info with you and anyone else who requests it at russtowne@yahoo.com. I also found some writers and others whose opinions I value and with their prior permission presented my work to them. I learned much from their feedback. I offered to read their creations and provided feedback to them. In that way–giving as well as getting–we were happy to help each other and no one got burned out. It is kind of an informal writers feedback group. I find it invaluable, and recommend you consider offering the same arrangement with other bloggers and writers. You might also consider posting parts of your book on your blog and noticing the “likes” and comments to see which resonate particularly well with your followers. Even if you struggle to trust yourself, if you trust those who provide feedback, then consider it a wrap when they say it is ready as is.

    • Thank you for your advice, Russ. I thought of posting a piece of writing from the book just to see the reaction, but was not sure; I think I might just do that now. Thank you also about the editor, I will contact you when the book is ready for her name 🙂

  17. It’s tough to be sure when it’s time to let go of a story. I have a rule – no revising till I am at the end of the piece. I write it like crap from start to finish and then revise. Most of the time, I revise till I’m tired of reading it over and then force myself to submit it, ready or not. If you don’t set a limit, you will revise for the rest of your life…..

  18. I think that is the main reason why I will never or will be a writer Michelle. I will over-edit everything because I over-think everything too much. 😆 I think you got some great advice here from great writers hon. Hope to see your book published one of these days. I would love to read it. 😀 ♥ Big Hugs ♥

  19. Hope, to be honest, i am not a really good writer or blogger at that. What i do here is just for fun. I think of something or see something and i just blast it here on my blog. But, yes, i think when it comes to life experiences, one wished one could edit the outcome of something that might have happend.

  20. I am a blogger but not a writer and I am not good at it! I think you are though. I can’t really give advice on this! Good luck with your writing!

  21. When?? Never… Just never… *sighs*

    But that is the best part right? We keep pushing and pushing and striving for the best… 🙂

  22. I edit and edit until I feel it is complete. That said I don’t keep reediting the same piece, but rather move forward and revisit to edit again latterly

  23. I am a writer and editor and have been for 20+ years. You’re done after you’ve proofread and edited your article two to three times. Then it’s time to let it go. But you’re right. After you’ve completed something and you read it again weeks or months later, there’s always a sentence or two you’d write differently. That’s how the creative mind works.


  24. You will re-write forever.


    The first thing you wrote was raw and honest.

    Check it for fluidness. Does it all flow? Check for grammar and punctuation and spelling.

    After that just put your heart out there. It’s the raw that attracts every reader.

    That’s my gut feeling. I re-read this. Checked it for spelling, flow and relevancy-:) Good to go.


  25. Hope, here is what I know for certain: I finished a post the other night, reread it, and published it. When I viewed the finished work, there was a mistake in the first sentence! You can always change something, but the need to publish and get it out for others to read is very important. It does no good until you do that. Perfection doesn’t exist; the finished product does.
    I write now and after a reading or two, an edit check or two, I let my creations out where they do the most good – in the public’s eye.

  26. WE never finish. Just after we hit the sent or publish or post button, we see something else that we want to tweak. Alas…the writer’s life is filled with this. But there is always hope…and hugs to make us feel better.

Namaste. My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.

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