Deadlines push you towards conclusion.
Concluding will push you towards conclusion. Sounds very philosophical, doesn’t it?
Many of you reading this are probably like me with writing and editing. We want to obsess over everything. There is a maddening drive to perfect it all as best as we can before hitting send. Before walking away. Before calling it complete. This is why I rarely re-visit completed pieces. When I make the rare re-visit, it is a form of self-inflicted psychological warfare that might drive me to want to go on a long revising spree.
You should demand perfection of yourself. Over time, demanding perfection of yourself will result in better product. So how does one know when to walk away from something? You won’t know until you feel it can happen. There really is no specific. There have been occasions where two or three passes of something have been my walk away point. Some occasions I’ve poured over things laboriously just to ensure something is going to work. If you are on a deadline then the pressure to end the revision process exists. Because the work results in a payday your revision lenses will become stronger. Ideally the end product will be added to your portfolio and lead to more work from the same client.
Forget beating yourself up to a point where you begin to question your skills. Be your own best critic. Before walking away or hitting send, read the product out loud to yourself one further time. How does it sound? Once you complete a pass, then read it out loud again before just reading in silence. Does it make sense still? Fine. Give it one final read out loud, save, stand up, walk away, or send out if required.
In time one begins to develop what works best for them in the editing process. I’ve learned from others and built it into what works best for me. Sure it will change over time as my education continues. Learning should never stop. Learning more tricks of the trade and characteristics of the craft will make writing with ease, easier.