NaNot Ramblings: When Enough is Enough

You must create because the idea isn’t to create something that’s ‘good enough’ or ‘really perfect’ or anything else. You must create because the idea is to create, to make something where something wasn’t before.

-Wil Wheaton

“Is that going to be for writing or art?” my friend asked.

“I don’t know,” I answered as my hand stroked over the smooth, creamy pages criscrossed by thin gray lines. That’s part of the process, feeling the paper, looking through the empty pages to see what will one day fill them. It’s a few days later, after this notebook and I met across a decidedly un-crowded office supply store, but when you know, you know. It was on clearance, I was in love, and when you know, you know. Sometimes, you don’t know everything, but sometimes, you don’t need everything. You need enough.

That’s something I’ve learned from my month of not-NaNo-ing this year. Month’s not over, but some things don’t need a whole month to learn. Maybe this year, I got the spirit of NaNo if not the letter of the law. I can’t tell you how many words I put on a page since November first (okay, I could if I went through and ran word count on my current projects) but I can say that there is story there where there was no story before. I can say that I get up excited to put pen to paper and then transcribe. I have characters living in my head again, jabbering at me and poking me to get their story down. They correct me. He didn’t go there, he went here. She didn’t say that, she said this. The theme of the story isn’t what I planned for it to be, but it is what it actually is.

It’s similar to bonding with a new notebook, bonding with a story, and to a greater extent, with myself as a writer. I am glad I made that my focus this month, because that, in the end, will get me closer to The End than trying to force myself into somebody else’s process. That’s never going to work, and as a living thing, it’s going to change over time. Time was, I didn’t see the point in fancy notebooks. Plain spiral bound notebooks were all I’d ever used and if the whole point was to put what was in my head on that page, what did anything else have any business there?

Don’t ask me when it changed, but over time, it did. There was an alternative to white paper? :blink blink: Ivory or cream is much easier on my eyes, looks delicious and adds a special something extra, so I look for that now. I used to be a lined paper purist. Then I discovered a gridded notebook in a discount store, became intrigued and gave it a try. Then I took a leap and tried unlined pages.. Those froze me, until I read about drawing a box around the page. Tried that, then couldn’t fill pages fast enough. Go figure.

Now, I’m voracious. I want all the notebooks. Some are ready to use right out of the gate, and some, like my newest acquisition up there, need some prep work first. I still don’t know what will ultimately go on these pages. Maybe it’s for writing. Maybe it’s for art. Maybe it’s for both. What I do know is that I’m not going to force it, and I’m not going to force my current writing projects. That’s a hard lesson to learn, but a needed one. Stories, to me, are living things, and there comes a time when they take on their own direction. Forcing them is not ever going to work, and will only end up hurting both of us. Working with their natural inclinations, however, that’s a different story, pun intended, and I can’t wait to see where that’s going to take us.

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