Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting Past Perfection

I learned about NaNoWriMo a few years ago and have known several people who tried it (including Kekla!). For the month of November, you're meant to write a novel of approximately 50,000 words but because I've never been much of a creative writer, I hadn't considered participating. Over the last six months or so, I've been wanting to tap into my creativity -- I even signed up for creative writing classes that start later this month. Of course, I've barely written at all since then, I just keep telling myself I will, so I still didn't think I'd do NaNoWriMo.

Then I was looking through Gotham Writers' Workshop's enewsletter and saw a blurb announcing that it begins tomorrow (well, today), and for some reason, it stood out to me. I wasn't sure why, at first, but I read through the description and remembered that one of the things that makes NaNoWriMo so interesting and unique is its departure from the way a lot of us normally work: the goal isn't quality, it's quantity. It's about putting words on the page, pure and simple. If you create something incredible, then great, but that's not the point of the exercise.

I suddenly remembered that a couple of weeks back my friend and I were talking about writing and he said I was making excuses by saying things like, "I don't have time to write." He made me write for 10 minutes to get me to see that I didn't need much time. It only made me stronger in my conviction that you need time to write something of quality. For me, it always comes down to quality, and that's surely an easy way to stop myself from doing what I love because of course nothing's perfect in just 10 minutes or 30 or even 60.

So I'm wondering, what happens if I take the challenge? What if I simply write and write and write without worrying about perfection? I guess I'm ready to find out!

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