Jennifer never stops rewriting…
You know how in life, you often wish for a do-over (please nod here and say yes—I don’t want to be the only one!)? Only a few of us are lucky enough to get that. For the rest of us, we have to just move on and keep going.
But writing isn’t like that. Writing allows us not only to create worlds, but to recreate them until we are satisfied. Don’t like a character? Kill her. Wish your character responded in a different way? Change the conversation. Realize that a situation is unbelievable? Redo it. It’s awesome and cathartic and just generally useful.
As for editing, ha! We can always write better, fix commas, choose better words. That never ends. No matter how many times I might submit something to a critique partner or an editor or a contest judge, I’m constantly playing around and fine-tuning my work. At some point, though, I have to let it go. But that doesn’t mean I won’t find a mistake I missed the first five thousand times I looked at it.
Writers, like parents, can always do better. It’s a never-ending battle to learn to let go. The good thing, though, is that we get to choose when we do so.