I will write a short story or novel. I will not do anything with it for months or years. Maybe I will submit it somewhere or to multiple somewheres and it will be rejected. Months or years will pass and my writing will get better. I will think about trying to get the piece of writing published or using it as a writing sample for grad school. I will read it. I will not like it as much as I did around the time I finished it. I will feel that it needs another edit. I am lazy. I do not like to edit something beyond the first time that I edited it over and over again and eventually declared it finished. So I will do my present day edit and will be annoyed because it feels like work, more so than the past edit because that one just needed to get done. Often, the edit will cause the piece of writing to lose its soul. It is stupid to refer to it as "losing its soul," but I cannot think of how else to describe it. The piece of writing might be improved technically, but it loses a piece of itself that made it great in the first place. Maybe I just thought of how else to describe it. I don't know. Maybe it's just as bad. Editing novellas or novels a second time are much, much worse than editing stories. It feels like even more work. It is even more work. It is exhausting.
Nothing is ever complete, I guess. I think the main reason why I sometimes seek to get my work published is that it makes it feel like its complete. I want to get published so that one person, an authority type, can declare, "This story or novelette or novella or novel is finished!" Then I feel like I don't have to work on it anymore. This is why self-publishing doesn't appeal to me very much.