I have never written a sonnet I considered finished when I completed the first version. I like to get 14 lines down as quickly as I can, but I know that’s just the beginning of a process that might not end for weeks or months, maybe even years.
Usually the next day will bring several changes, seemingly the result of mysterious, subliminal thought percolation that somehow occurs overnight. I can’t explain it. It just happens. If I look at it again a week later, I’ll usually find other changes I want to make.
At that point, it might be pretty close to as good as it’s going to get. That’s when I decide if I really like it or not. If I’m not satisfied, I’ll just forget about it for a while and lay fresh eyes on it weeks or months later. That doesn’t always work and some just never get to where I can feel proud of them. Even the ones I am happy with often get tweaked if I later take a fresh look.
The only thing that quells the urge to continuously review and revise is to publish something. That seems to add some finality to what might otherwise be a never ending process.