When I tried NaNoWriMo, I knew the intent of the sheer volume of writing required was intended to help writers turn off that inner critic and editor and just get the words out of their heads. I assumed the one post per day for NaBloPoMo would have a similar effect – I just didn’t expect to learn the lesson so early in the process.
On Monday, I had a story in mind. It was fresh from the day before, so when I found myself with just about fifteen minutes to get it out of my head, I just sat down, typed it out, and hit publish. When I read it aloud to my husband the next morning, I cringed… not my best writing.
Tuesday came along with a snow storm and I literally typed the post on my phone while at Target. Most of it was written between the parking lot and shoes, then published on the way from shoes to girls’ apparel. I made one update after hitting the girls’ department and I haven’t looked at it since.
Last night, after Girl Scouts, I was all tuckered out so I totally cheated and took pictures of what the girls had made and barely wrote a full paragraph. I haven’t proofread that one either.
In the fourth, fifth, and sixth days of this month-long challenge, I’m already forced to face one of my demons. The thought of sharing something that isn’t quite ready, or could be just a bit better, or (heaven forbid) is full of typos and mistakes. When I first started this blog, I reserved the right to post such things labeled under Unedited – I spelled it out in my Rules of the Road. But I have rarely used that safety net. When it comes to writing, it’s very hard for me to say, “That’s good enough.” It needs to be as perfect as I can get it before I hit that publish button.
One of the problems with this philosophy is that it’s hardly ever perfect anyway. And when I come back later and find mistakes, Grr! Very few things make me more angry than finding my own mistakes after exposing them to a reading audience.
Another problem is that when I write, read, revise, reread, revise, reread, and revise every single time, it gets to be a bit time consuming! This makes blogging something for which I have to really carve out a piece of my day. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find that time in an already busy schedule. Yet writing makes me genuinely happy so it should be a daily part of my life.
So I guess I have to say: Thank You, NaBloPoMo, for pushing me out of my comfort zone, for making me practice letting go, and for forcing me to add a bit of happiness to each of my days.
(Note: I only reread and revised this once. Hope it’s good enough!)