28.11.12

NaNoWriMo Day #28: Seeking After Perfection


Today took me completely by surprise. So far, I've pumped out 8,570 words. 

Out of these 8,570 words, I'm sure that only about 5% of them will remain when I edit this NaNo novel. But that's not what NaNoWriMo is about. It's about getting the words out, getting them on the page, and not worrying about whether they are perfect, or even passable. 

Quantity, not quality. Definitely not the way I run the rest of my life.



This picture  should say "winner," but I have yet to validate my novel. I'm waiting until the last minute because I have an addiction to updating my word count and like to see it posted on the NaNo site.


The past few scenes of my NaNo novel have been what have pushed me over the "goal" edge towards "above the goal." The characters are continuing to come alive and the scenes are flowing naturally from my fingertips. This means my scenes have gone a lot longer than originally planned, and I have a dozen scenes left to write as I near the end of my 80K goal. (I've always been a long-winded writer, and this novel is no different.)

I can only thank God when my scenes are flowing like this, even if it means I have to cut out multiple scenes when I edit later. And I know that a lot of what I've written will be discarded as imperfect, unwanted material when I enter the editing process.

I've been struck today by just how much easier it is for me to write new scenes than to edit a novel I've already written. To me, the writing process is easy (at least, easier than editing). Just sit down, and type out the words--even if they aren't what you really want the pages to say, you can always fix it later.

It's the "fixing it later" part that I get hung up on. A dozen drafts later, and I still feel it's not perfect. 

Perfection. 

That's what I want. 

And yet, that's what I know I can never, ever obtain. 

No matter how many times I revise, no matter how long I stare at the page, I will always, always want to change something. I will always doubt, I will always correct. 

And there will always be someone else who thinks that my sentence, or metaphor, or entire plot, is less than perfect.

So why do I seek perfection when I know it is unattainable?