A garden in October is like a submitted story. There’s not much you can do to improve on either. The story is in the slush pile, the garden has given up what it’s going to give up.
Since I’ve started my new novel the yard has been negelected. The book is coming along great but the garden has gone feral. I can still get some tomatoes and onions out. But anything I get now is like republishing a story in an anthology.
Letting go of a garden means pulling the plant out by the roots and tossing it in the compost pile. It is a final act, an action that says this this is done and I’m not getting anything else out of it.
Stories are done when we know another edit isn’t going to make it any better. It’s time to send it out when our alpha and beta readers don’t have anything else to say about it. But all too often writers will hold on to stories way too long.
I’m guilty of that.
I’ve held on to stories until they go bad. Whay I mean by that is my writing has improved over the years and the early stories are not salvagable. If I had sent them out back when they were written, I’d have a few more notches on my belt. So now I’ve got a backlog of good sotries, great stories and some meh.
It’s easy to let a garden go. Nature tell you when to do so. Stories do not have natural cycles, they can’t tell us when they are ready. Only the writer knows when a tale is finished and know when it is time to let go.