Perfectionism

Continuing the theme of the last two days, I bought a few cheap notebooks the other day for the purpose of learning to outline and to start assembling some form of a style or information book to help me plan and track my projects. Already, perfectionism is getting in the way.

The basic premise behind anything here is that it has to be useful and that I will do it. I opted for notebooks vs the system that is available through Scrivener because I wanted something that a) I could have always out and available to look at even in the middle of writing without clicking away from the current piece, and b) it allows me to use it without needing to be on a phone or a computer — in other words, I could access it anywhere at any time. All good to start.

In usefulness, I need it to be simply this: have the information I need. That’s it. Right now (especially not knowing anything about really how to do the thing), having some fancy binder that’s color coded, collated, organized, or whatever is what my brain is telling me I should have. How do I get to that point? Even now, thinking about early in a project when the story is still a mess of ideas, how the hell is it going to be anything but a sloppy mess of ideas? I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t have to do anything consistent or organized any more that 1 thing that I came up with: having a table of contents.

Going with a single idea that popped into my head, I went through and numbered all the pages in the notebook. Then, I plan to set aside the first page or two to be reserved as a table of contents. That way, I can write down the page numbers or page ranges that particular things are. Even as I sit here and think, “oh I need to have X pages set aside for an outline,” having a place to write the pages down almost negates that. Start with a page, then if after I start I have to add another page but there’s already things on the next page, then skip to the next available sheet and note it in the table of contents and in a note on the bottom of the last outline page… There really is no need for some perfectly organized system.

Anyway, the long and short of this whole endeavor is that I need to start. I need to start somewhere. And I need to shut down this thing telling me that it needs to be perfect. If I don’t, I might never start.

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