When things aren’t perfect, but you keep going anyway

Not long ago, the Engineer observed my tendency to let relatively small obstacles derail me from something I said I wanted to do. This made my face all scrunchy because it was true and I didn’t like hearing it. To be fair, the thing I said I wanted to do was go to the gym, and no one really actually wants to go to the gym. What I actually want to do is to sit around in stretchy pants drinking coffee and admiring my naturally-occurring six-pack abs. But, alas, this is not to be for me.

On the first morning of NaNoWriMo, I awoke bright-eyed and ready to begin streaming brilliance into the pages of my perfect notebook with my perfect pen. The universe had positively conspired to line everything in front of me like a virtual yellow brick road of inspiration. I laid down on the floor with my collection of pillows, coffee, antique suitcase/writing desk, outline, perfect notebook, and perfect pen and got to work.

But then a funny thing happened. The pen, that had been perfect when writing in my Molskine*, seemed a little less perfect when writing in my perfect Leuchtturm1917. It was not as smooth and a little more bleedy and less forgiving and just overall less, well, perfect, than I imagined. I grabbed my Moleskine and wrote, “Is it the pen, or the paper? It might be the paper–oh no!” I had hoped the brand-new Le Pen I had started that morning might be a dud. Those two little sentences written in my Moleskine proved to me, however, that the Le Pen/Moleskine combination was indeed still perfection in my mind, while the Le Pen/Leuchttum1917 was decidedly, well, not.

This put me in a foul mood on the morning of the first day of NaNoWriMo. The Engineer, very generously, suggested that we would solve this problem, in fact, it would be no problem at all. He’s wonderful like that. Neil Gaiman writes with a fountain pen, and that’s probably what I need. This suggestion just made me grumpier because I freaking love my Le Pens, dammit, and I just want them to stay perfect. (Although, if forced to admit it, I do really love the idea now of a fountain pen because apparently I’m slowly turning into a character in an old-timey story.)

What I decided to do instead is plug ahead with my imperfect Le Pens and my teal Leuchtturm1917 because I had decided to write my NaNoWriMo words in my perfect teal Leuchtturm1917 (“with two T’s!!,” she sobs) and my perfect Le Pens (in Dark Grey, Oriental Blue, or Teal only, please) and I will not be derailed by the discovery that they are not perfect together after all.

I have 8,000 definitely imperfect words written under imperfect conditions, with 42,000 to go and everything is fine, and it will be fine, and someday this will make a great story that I’ll probably write in a navy Moleskine journal with a Le Pen in one of three colors.

*Aside: I recently learned the proper spelling of “Moleskine.” I’ll leave my previous errors for posterity.