When you finish a piece, it’ll almost always be a little rough, in need of some polish or alterations. In school, this was taken care of by critiques, and advice from my professors and fellow students alike on how I did and  what I might think about to make a piece better. What do we do out here in the real world?

Imagine there’s a person waiting at the end of your process to check out your work. They’re objective as any person can be, but they’re on your side, they want you to be your best. They’re nice, but firm. If there is a real person waiting to experience your work, that’s a win! They’ll be much better than your imagination at seeing things you overlooked. Whether they’re a friend, a colleague, or a professional curator/producer/editor. But it still can work if they’re imaginary.

Because what we’re striving at, if we’re still not hitting a daily habit level of working, a reason to keep working on our stuff. Someone waiting for you to get done might be a little scary, but it’s also a potential motivator to keep going. You might not need anyone. But if you do, and even if they’re imaginary, you can take their role yourself and try to see your work with new eyes. This is best done, I think, by listening to longstanding advice to writers: put the thing away in a drawer for a few weeks so you aren’t so close to it. It’ll be easier to see it from new perspectives once it cools from your red hot fingertips dancing it into existence.