Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
~ Unknown ~
I always have a difficult time with my writing because I always find imperfections. Ever since I was a young child I have tried to obtain perfection. I remember rewriting homework assignments because I noticed that one of the letters was shaky.
While this helps me put out the best work that I am capable of, the downside is that many ideas lay forgotten because I could not perfect them. Most of my poems and stories aren’t given a fair chance to mature because I automatically dismiss them as my worst work or I spend so much time trying to perfect them that I get discouraged and give up on them.
Some form of perfectionism is needed to complete a work. But that doesn’t mean that perfection should over shadow everything. There is a fine line between the type of perfectionism that is helpful and the type that is detrimental. Too much or too little and the work will be unfinished though in different ways. Too much perfectionism and there is a risk of giving up. Too little imperfection and the work will be declared as finished when there are still mistakes.
Currently my perfectionism is in the “too much” league. I am trying to lessen my perfectionism into the “just right” league but it’s difficult. I find myself thinking about the errors and how to correct them. I think about all the ways to improve what I’ve written while I’m in the process of writing it down.
What I need to do, is learn how to turn off my inner editor during the first draft. This is where NaNo comes in handy. Since 2007, I have spent the month of November writing to reach 50,000 words of a story. This has taught me several tricks which help me focus on writing and not on rewriting.
My first trick is to type with the smallest font available or with a font colour that is the same as the background colour. This keeps me from reading what I’ve written because I physically cannot. After I have written my word count for the day or reached the end of my writing spurt, I allow myself to make the writing readable.
Another one of my tricks is to use Write or Die. Generally I use the kamikaze mode because the sound doesn’t work as a good punishment for me. I do have the program for my computer which is wonderful because I can use it without internet access.
My last favourite trick is to use a full screen mode in my word processor. This helps me focus on writing and when I don’t have distractions, I find that I stop less to read what I’ve written.
Hopefully these tricks will help me get through several ideas that I have planned and complete several pieces which I’m not quite happy with.