On things going well and encountering an old enemy

Day Three: 6,212 of 50,000 words

So far things are going really well. I’ve written a little over 2,000 words each of the three days so far. At night, my brain keeps track of the time and has kindly fallen into the writing rhythm I cultivated last November: when it’s time to write, I write, and it’s even got a built-in alarm that so far lets me know when I really need to get to business to meet my daily goal.

I know this kind of continual progress isn’t just a lucky thing – it’s good habits I’ve developed and a certain refusal to accept the tantrums I throw right before I get to work as part of my writing process, and not just a reason to go do something else. Honestly, every time I sit down each night to get some words down I have a little hissy fit in my mind, just like a little kid before bedtime.

So I sit and suffer with myself for a time until I get tired of it. I open the Scrivener file, read over where I left off, realize it’s not terrible and I can keep going, procrastinate by making a hot cup of something that will most likely just sit next to me and get cold while I work. Then I write.

It also helps that I have a boyfriend who has taken it upon himself to bug me about getting it done as much as I bug myself.

And I am not above bribing myself with chocolate.

What has been difficult, and I didn’t anticipate this, is getting around to this blog. It was much easier a few weeks back when I was maybe getting one or two people reading it – I assumed it might be my mother or boyfriend, so I felt fairly free to post a few things and see if I can get the hang of writing for an audience.

The weird thing is, you people are coming here and reading this. More of you than I expected to, though I know it’s fewer than saner people would find exciting.

I’m feeling performance pressure to actually write things that make sense, that talk about what I’m doing, that keep you, yes YOU coming back to see what else I’m up to.

It’s a very new feeling, being read.

I like it. I like it a lot.

It also is very scary, because it makes me feel like I need to be perfect, and perfection is the enemy. Yes I know, the saying is “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

But I’m going to just say that perfection is the enemy. Say it with me. Say it with me again.

Think of something you’ve been wanting to do for a long time. It could be finishing sorting out your stuff in storage, it could just be doing the laundry, or it could be that thing you know would make your life better. Like writing a novel, or getting back to those activities you loved before you realized you had to make money and gave them up.

Have you only not done it because you want to do it right the first time? You want it to be perfect?

If so, say it with me one last time: Perfection is the enemy.

I want to be perfect here, and that’s just not going to happen. I’ve learned it for my fiction, and for my martial arts. I’ve learned it in a lot of ways, and here I am learning it again.

I would rather edit something finished ten times than wait to do it perfectly for ten years.

That’s it for now. I’m going to go write. Thank you for reading.

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4 thoughts on “On things going well and encountering an old enemy

  1. Great post. I try to write at least 1000 words a day even if what I write is absolute garbage. I can always come back and edit through the roughage to find gems. I spend a lot of time doing an outline first as well so that I at least have some kind of guideline to follow. Keep it up! Good luck writing the 12!

    1. Thank you kindly sir!

      I’m so fascinated by anyone who can outline before they write – I never know what story I’m telling until I get there, and even then it surprises me as we go; truly like driving a car in darkness. With very very dim headlights.

      What’s it like to have an idea of where you’re going?

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