Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.Anne Lamott
I started NaNoWriMo yesterday – a crazy project where I will attempt to complete 50 000 words of a manuscript in November.
But it’s good madness, because I have allocated time for writing – and now I must turn up, write fast, without agonising over each word and sentence, and then return to the busy-ness of my day.
There’s no time for perfectionism. I can only pour what may amount to very crappy words onto the page, for a terrible first draft. Hurry, hurry!
It’s liberating to know that I can brain dump now and fix the mess later. Shhhh, I say to my inner critic, I know it’s probably all crap. But that’s okay. I only need to get something on the page. There’s no expectation beyond that. The pressure is off.
It’s joyful to realise that what matters here is that I turn up and hit my word count. Only that. I don’t have time to worry if what I am writing is any good. I reach my word or time target, save my work, and then go back to the real world.
I’d forgotten how much fun writing can be when there’s no judgement involved!
I hope you find time for a project of your own this month. Let go of perfectionism, and do it for the fun of it, the love of it, the experience of it!
Much love, mugs of tea, and a sprinkle of dodgy words, Nicole xx