Last night on The Writer’s Chat on Twitter*, we were talking about revision, and the question came up – “When do we know a piece of our writing is ‘done?'”

While most of us agreed that a piece may never be done in that it will never be perfect because there is not such thing as perfect in art, we did decide that there are some ways to tell what we are writing is “done.”

One way to tell is when someone else says it is. This is particular true when someone agrees to publish it. Then, it’s “really done.” Mostly because we can’t then do anything more to it.

Then, there’s the “done” that comes because we have no idea what on earth we could do. This is place we come to when we sit there and just stare at the screen after having revised and then editing in every way we can figure it out. We may not love it, but we have no idea how to make it more of what we want it to be.

Then, there’s the really awesome kind of done, the kind that comes when we read what we’ve written and think, “Yep. That’s it. . . just what I wanted to say.” We sigh. Smile. Lean back in our chairs and feel good . . . for a minute at least.

How do you know you’re done with a piece?

For the rest of this week, I’m going to explore how we can develop a sense of what we want our work to say, how we get to the heart of what we’re writing. Stay tuned.

*We meet every Tuesday night at 9pm EST on Twitter. Join us if you’d like; just use the hashtag #writestuff.