Nanowrimo lessons, cont.

Okay, so one more lesson I learned from Nanowrimo.

I have a terrible, crippling case of perfectionism which prevents me from trying to do anything because I want to make sure that I do it right the first time which means I don’t try because how can you guarantee that you will do something right the first time.

Which is why Nanowrimo felt good to complete because it’s material witness that anything you do, even if it’s a fanfic, will always result in a horrible rough draft.

I’m actually really attached to the general plot line of the fanfic, as well as the characters, and I want to do this right. But Nanowrimo forces you to keep writing, even if it isn’t right. There were times I had to audibly yell at myself to keep moving on when my mind recognized a huge continuity error. It was difficult, but I would write a note in the margin and then keep going.

In the end, I had a giant, rambling draft, but that’s okay because that’s what drafts are!

In a way, finishing Nanowrimo helped a lot in helping with the perfection because, heavens, I tried hard and even though this fanfic is nowhere near publishable right now, at least I’ve got a good draft and I’ve noticed holes in plots and insufficiencies in character growth that can be addressed. The story has progressed, and frankly, I’m proud, even if the first draft right now is a steaming pile of crap. Because, honestly, that’s what first drafts are supposed to be anyway.

I can say that it’s just that much easier to start any project now, even if I’m going to make mistakes, because mistakes won’t cripple me just yet. I’ve currently got a goal to complete the draft in its totality by the end of the year, then finish editing everything by June, and have everything ready to start publishing (from start to finish without any breaks) in July. It may be the first major art project I’ve ever taken on and even come close to completing.

Thanks, Nanowrimo. I should donate.


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