Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen asked Jane Yolen:

L. asked Before you gained confidence as a writer, how did you know when a story was "ready" to be submitted to a publisher or publication? How did you learn to stop endlessly fiddling and tweaking a story?

Jane Yolen Sorry L--I meant to click on Answer and must have clicked instead on Skip. But it's too good a question to miss. What I have to say will sound like snark, but it's as honest as I can make it.

I STILL spend hours, days, weeks, months, years endlessly fiddling and tweaking. One of my poetry editors last year sent me an email (and you could just hear his frustration in the words) asking "When are you going to be done with revising." And I told him, "When you take these poems out of my cold, dead hands!" The problem is identifying NOT when you are done with a particular piece, but when you have actually begun working on something else, though still calling it that earlier piece. Sometimes you simply have to take yourself by the nape of the neck (probably physically impossible) and shake yourself like a dog with a rat, warning, "Let it go! You are done with it!"

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