Persistence Not Perfection: NaNo Take 2 Midway Update

This update will be short, because my take on NaNoWriMo this month is non-traditional not just because I’m doing it in December (Australia is on fire, I’m allergic to most of the grasses that are still burning all around me, and November didn’t work for me, but I still wanted to try and get a good chunk of writing work done). I’m trying to edit the terrible book that I wrote a few years ago. I’m fighting the urge to just give up and write a book that isn’t hot garbage, but I think editing it into a readable book will be a much more productive activity. I’ve been editing it every day (with a couple of unavoidable exceptions), and I’m happy with my progress. I doubt I’ll get it finished this month, but getting back into the habit of working consistently on a project that is no longer ‘fun’ for me is something I’ve needed to do for a while.

I procrastinate everything, all the time; so my procrastination has evolved. It now disguises itself as faux-logic. Specifically, in relation to my work in progress, the idea that I’d be better off working on a book that will be ‘good’ without being heavily edited. I feel like I’ve written about this before, but this idea that any truly worthy idea or piece of writing will spring Athena-like from my keyboard with no editing or changes required is a ridiculous one that doesn’t hold up to any level of scrutiny, but still creeps up on me whenever I’m procrastinating for ‘no reason’.

NaNoWriMo (no matter what month I’m doing it in) is useful, because it’s a way to keep at a goal only for a set amount of time, with no excuses allowed. It doesn’t matter if I end up with a terrible book, because the commitment is for persistence, not perfection, and doing the work (not the end result) is all I’ve committed to this month. I still find it bitterly ironic that subconsciously expecting perfection of yourself often results in the worst result of all—no result, a non-complete, a lack of progress.

So! A reminder to myself more than anyone—it doesn’t matter how much you’re judging your work, as long as it gets done.



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