Perfect wrinkles

I just finished ironing some of the clothes I am about to pack to take on our cruise and land tour of Alaska. One of my daughters was aghast that I would bother to iron before the clothes were stuffed into our suitcases, where they will certainly grow new wrinkles no matter how carefully I roll and fold them.

It goes against my grain to perform anything less than to perfection. Just the thought of packing a pair of unironed pants with wrinkles sends waves of revulsion through me. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. (But as a writer I am entitled–no, encouraged–to hone my exaggeration skills.)

The need for perfection is a known cause of procrastination for writers. “Perfectionist paralysis” is defined by Urban Dictionary as “the inability to start on…any creative task due to the fear of not getting it perfectly right.” Yup, that’s me. And it’s not limited to starting a project, I’ve found. Revision is also included in that category.

But I’m working on it. I’d love to finish that novel I started in 1986.

Four of us from my writing group have committed to join the July Camp NaNoWriMo, similar to the November NaNoWriMo (a 50,000 word novel in 30 days), except in July we have more flexibility with our projects. We are going to use our weekly “pinky swears” as our projects. For the past week, as I’ve been trying to return to sleep after my early morning jaunt to the bathroom, I’ve been laying in bed pondering my project. I think that’s a good start. After all, I still have two weeks to prepare.

One of my writing group members asked if I would get much writing done on my trip. I plan to keep a journal. But beyond that I know without a doubt that my fiction will flounder. I expect to be too enamored by glaciers and fjords, hopefully even some whales and grizzlies, to focus on Claire, Anne, Olivia, and Emily.

And it’s very likely that I’ll be too busy to notice the wrinkles.

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About Karen Whalen

A contemporary fiction writer with an accumulation of incomplete novels and short stories, I consider NH "home," spending the summer through Christmas there with my husband. My youngest daughter and her family live nearby (as well as my mother and other family members). January finds us venturing to VA to visit our middle daughter and her family before we make our way to sunny AZ to live with our oldest daughter and family. We spend time in VA on our way home. I am fortunate that my daughters live in places I would have retired to all on my own! My 87 year-old mother asks if I will finish my novel (which one, I wonder) before she dies.....Even with that for a goal, I manage to excel at procrastination!

Posted on June 15, 2015, in blogging, Karen Whalen, writing, Writing Group and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sorry about the journal–I believe I managed to write the first day. But we do have about 3,000 photos!!

    Like

  2. I want to hear how Claire, Anne, Olivia and Emily would each react to a glacier, a fjord, a slab of roast bear, a disheveled Inuit village. Or anything else you encounter. Use that journal!

    Like

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