Perfectionist & Writing

“That doesn’t sound right…let me move that over here.  Ugh it still doesn’t look right.  Backspace.  Delete”

I am a perfectionist.  A person who obsesses over having things done correctly or in the right order.  I have a mini panic attack every time I feel as though I did something the wrong way or someone didn’t do it the way I wanted them to do it.  I actually didn’t do sports for long in Junior High, because I felt like it was a too stressful of a thing, especially if I would lose. I was a hard critic on myself and on others.  So I just didn’t do it anymore.

Lately though I’ve been growing and learning to let some things go a little crooked.

But I can still feel the habit still gripping on my writing.  Being a writer and a perfectionist is difficult.

I’m so OCD with how the Word document has to look and if anything is off, like no indentions or it looks off to my normal setting, I will spend my precious writing time searching for a way to fix it back, all the while fuming.

Often times I read advice on just writing out your first draft THEN go back and edit.  But my brain didn’t get the memo and often times I write a couple chapters and find myself editing them while trying to finish my first draft.  It’s just a vicious writing process that leaves me exhausted and put out with the story.

Like I said lately I’ve been getting better and I think the real eye opener of just how easy it would be if I would wait to edit, is when I did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) last November.  I mean the whole point of NaNoWriMo is to just write.  Writing 50K in a month you really don’t have time to stop and go back and edit.  You move forward.  You write.

I tried NaNoWriMo in November of 2011 and didn’t get far almost halfway because I couldn’t just let go.  I had to fix every little thing and I just couldn’t have little nonsense sentences in my WIP even though I could just delete them later.  It had to be perfect.  It had to be speckle free.


It took me a couple of months to want to try again because I was feeling the depressing fact that I didn’t succeed and berating myself (wanting to hide under a rock).  But I decided to give it another try by doing Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp NaNoWriMo was the first time I made it to the finish line with my novel called Army of Shadows.  The reason I think I finished is because I just had fun writing and left the pressure of having everything just right, to just letting my fingers do the talking and shutting off the editing part of my brain.  It was a lot of fun to do and a great push in the right direction. It took a lot of mental strength to get myself to just write.

Feeling on a roll and ever so proud of myself, I did NaNoWriMo 2012 and won that.  I actually did The Foretold Shorty Collection for that one and I found it so free to just write without my nagging mind.  Makes me a better writer to feel good when I write a story instead of pressure to get every little thing right the first time.

I’m still learning to try to look forward during writing.  Always look forward.  I have caught myself going back feeling out of sorts because something’s off.  I tell myself that if I can’t find it and fix it quickly then I’ll just have to fix it later.  It’s been working so far and I’m hopeful it will continue.



Late post

Perfectionist 2

The Foretold

Fantasy or Paranormal for me has been a genre that I have loved to read, watch, and talk about.  My favorite TV shows include Ghost Adventures, and when they used to show, Ghost Whisperer, Charmed, and Paranormal State.  My favorite movie that I can watch over and over again would be the Underworld series.

I can’t seem to write without having something magical happen or scary.  Unless I’m writing an action/adventure story.  Usually when I have to write something completely mundane or having to do with reality and real life problems I tend to become bored with it.

My writing ranges from Elementals (Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water) family trapped as slaves, teen witches and demons, to an army of mutant humans dubbed vampires.  Right now I’ve seem to join all the fantasy creatures that I like, fairies, witches, vampires, werewolves, demons, sirens, and so much more, into one world for this novella and short story collection I’ve named The Foretold.

This is the first world building story I’ve had to write.  I am new at world building so I researched a lot and relied on the NaNoWriMo forums to keep me on the right track.  This was the first I’ve built a map and had to do a lot of research and planning to make the territories and the creatures involved.

I didn’t do all of it at once, usually when I needed the information like who is the leader of the Dragon Kingdom or how many different muses are there, I would research then add it to my little document I’ve named the Crystalline Handbook.

The Foretold (both the novella and shorty collection) is centered on thirteen people or crystals who are chosen by the Fates to receive two foretelling visions.  Each crystal chosen will receive a part of one of the two visions.  One vision will have the solution to the portals between the two world, Earth and Crystalline, colliding.  The second vision will show the downfall if the two worlds collide.

Here’s a little synopsis that combines both the collection and novella together.

The portals between the human world of Earth and the magical world of Crystalline

Have been growing forcing the world to start to collide with each other

A problem to both sides needing a solution

On the night when the moon was at its fullest

The Fates chose thirteen members of thirteen factions of Crystals to come together

For a special Foretelling

Becoming The Foretold

Each would be given a part of two visions seen by the Fates

One vision showed the solution to the problem

Another showed the downfall of immortals and mankind after the collision of the two worlds

But on that night where the moon was shining so bright,

Something went amiss,

The chosen thirteen never made it back home,

And the Fates disappeared.

The fate of the two worlds hang in the minds of each Foretold

But first, they must be found,

And remember the visions that seem to have been blocked from their minds.

I swear I’ll have a better summary of this once it’s completed.  It’s still in the working stages and I can’t promise you that this summary won’t be changed or added to.  I’m having a lot of fun writing this and experimenting with different things, and researching.  Hoping the novella will be completed by this year and uploaded to Wattpad.  This is a peek into my Creative Madness.  What are you working on?

Quanisha A