It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

The beauty of NaNoWriMo is that there is no right or wrong. No basis for success or standards of quality other than words. Words, words, words. Just 1667 words a day, every day, for 30 days. No one cares if they are beautiful words arranged in glorious ways or a string of frustrated obscenities. Just get the words down on paper. Some words. Any words. Editing is for January. I love NaNoWriMo because it forces me to ignore my Inner Critic and keep going, no matter what.

The terrifying thing about blogging is that it requires both speed (so your posts remain fresh and timely) and quality (so your posts are, well, readable and worth reading). It’s feels at times like it combines the pressure of NaNoWriMo and normal writing, giving you twice the Inner Critic for one low price.

I know other folks do it, blogging a bit every day or so, without taking a day and a half to ruminate and ponder and – worst of all – second guess each word, each sentence and eventually the entire idea altogether. But blogging seems to trip me up in a very particular way.

It’s not that I have no ideas for what to write, it’s that in typical Six way, I seem to overthink each and every one of them. I jot notes and rearrange them and see ever more complex webs in which they connect and try to find just the right order to work on them. I start an idea and fuss when it morphs into something else in just a few paragraphs. I feel disgust when I finally finish a post and can’t bare to look it over one more time, not even to catch the simplest of typos that render the whole thing nonsense.

Then when I do review what I have written, I feel a flash of shame and anxiety. How dare I write this? What makes me an expert in anything? Is it good enough? Is that even what I meant to say? Look at all these mistakes – who would even what to muddle through this mess? Surely I have used up my allotment of dashes by now.

I know this is just another form of resistance. I know I can push through and get some writing done. But not with my NaNoWriMo skills. NaNoWriMo resistance is at least familiar to me. I may not like the process, but I know what it feels like. This challenge I have set before me is unknown. Or at least less known. It’s like I am in a room I know, but that’s completely dark right now. I know the furniture and walls are in theory, but I move cautiously because I won’t know where they are for sure until I stumble into them.

So I move forward, with equal parts caution and abandon.

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