Perfection and Giving It Up

Mary E. Nolte

Trying to resist starting this post with…”I’ve been thinking a lot lately about…..” (making a joke here as if people read my blog every week)

But anyway, here to talk about perfection, and letting go of it.

I’m the kind of person that wants to believe that each and everything I write and put out into the world should be perfect. I worry about the impression I make with my written words and I always want to be sure that people think I’m eloquent, have good spelling and grammar skills, am relatable, am empathetic, am hard-working, etc. I feel like writing is my representation of myself and that I always want to put my best self out there.

But….that’s not always possible. When I started this blog I would spend an entire days writing and editing and re-reading every post. I thought about possible future employers or literary agents that might take a look at this blog to try and get some kind of impression of me. I wanted everything I wrote to be perfect and to be posted at the same time on the same day every week so that I would portray myself on the internet as….perfect. But I’m not perfect. I do make typos, I don’t always have great flow, and I can’t always sit down and post on the days I want to. Computers crash (as mine did this weekend), I get tired or stressed. I’m just a person, after all.

At some point I realized that if I wanted to keep blogging regularly I was going to have to give up on perfection. I was going to have to just write, edit a few times, choose some pictures, and post. Not every single thing I write is going to be publishable in The New Yorker. That’s just a fact I have to accept.

And I have to admit it’s been kind of freeing. To write something just for the fun of it, just as part of my little projects I’ve created for myself (like my book review series From My Shelves…which has forced me to read  books I own but haven’t read yet), is wonderful. I stopped caring about who was reading it and started looking at my blog as a project for myself….and the 35 subscribers I have (hi thank you if you’re subscribed and reading this!)

So….not everything I post here is going to be revolutionary. Not everything is going to be insightful, not everything is going to inspire people. But the act of practicing writing each and every week is good for me. And I hope that I get better at this as I keep going.

This month (as in November — tomorrow!) I’m doing Nanowrimo. Yes, as in I’ll be writing an entire novel in November. Well, actually, I’ll be writing the rest of the novel I already started. But it’ll be 50,000 new words, regardless. At least, that’s the goal.

I have a feeling that giving up perfection is going to be a really important part of this month. I’m going to keep on posting on the blog while writing up to 2,000 words of my novel every single day. So there’s going to be a lot of words going around. I’m nervous, but I’m excited.

Is anyone else doing Nanowrimo? Let’s be friends! My username is maryenolte. I wish everyone else out there a successful writing month. And don’t forget — you don’t need to be perfect. Just do the work and worry about that later.

Thanks for stopping by! And Happy Halloween!!

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