A Chinese philosopher named Lao Tzu had a number of famous quotes. A popular one is 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'.
I always liked that one. That seems like the perfect way to describe an author's journey. Writing the story is only part of it. Just finishing it is a major accomplishment. But knowing when it's really done is another part of the process, sometimes as difficult as that journey of a thousand miles. Most writers I know will complete the first draft, grab a glass of wine to celebrate this small victory, and bask in the achievement for a day or two. Then we dive right back in and begin to edit. We shape and polish and smooth out the rough edges. And sometimes if we're lucky, we'll convince some other writers to take a look at it.
That's what I'm doing today. Recently I asked a couple of people from the writer's group if they'd be interested in reading the first draft of my latest novel and giving me some feedback. I was pleasantly surprised when they not only agreed but dove right in. Peg actually read the whole book in two days and declared "I couldn't put it down!" Jerry took a bit longer, but pointed out a number of glitches that needed my attention. So with their help, I've kept going, making it shine. Now I'm one step closer to completing that thousand mile journey. With luck, I'll have it ready before the end of the week. Then it's 'hurry up and wait' for a response to the query. A writer can do that thousand miles and never leave his desk. So thanks, Lao Tzu. We'll see where it goes.
Here are a couple of older posts that you might enjoy.