Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Unplanning Experiment

I'm a planner.

Many a friend will tell you (along with most of my family), I'm sort of a freak about my calendars and day planner and timelines.

But recently, with illness and exhaustion, day job stresses and life in general going a bit crazy in the Aphayrath house, I've not been able to maintain my freakish timelines I've laid out. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. Well, that's not true. I don't actually like it at all. Not one bit, honestly. I like my timelines and the accomplishment I feel when I hit a deadline, even if it is self-imposed. So working with no timelines has been a bit bizarre for me, an experiment in the unplanned.

Which is funny, because I'm a total pantser when it comes to writing. I've learned about myself that if I overplan a book - you know, outlining and all that - I get bored because I already know what happens, so there is less of a thrill for me in "unraveling" the story as it were.

As things slowly calm down, I'm taking the time to re-establish the planning portion of things that work for me as well as accepting that there are parts of what I do that I cannot plan for anymore (like, OMG, seriously? what happened to that character? how come she turned out like that???) and sometimes, the unplanned stuff is what makes my plans turn out just the way I want them to.

Are you guys life planners and pantser writers? Or am I just the only crazy one?


Stephanie McGee said...

I used to be a lot more on the OCD side of planning. This was back in college and grad school. Now, there's less to plan for so I've relaxed a lot. I'm a mix of pantser-plotter in my writing and where I sit on that spectrum is dependent on where I'm at in the drafting and revising process.

Alicia Gregoire said...

I'm a life pantser and a plotter writer.

I always start with planners for life things but then it all goes back into my brain and the planner gets discarded. Life would be much simpler if I planned everything.

Amanda Bonilla said...

Seriously, the similarity in our posts and clipart today is eerie!

Sometimes being spontaneous can be a good thing. But honestly, I'm totally jealous of your ability to plan. It really does make for less stress later. Your scheduling ways aren't gone forever!

Tess said...

I struggle w/ summer because it kills our family schedule. I can't get any writing done without my schedule :o

Angie said...

It's hard when life forces us out of our comfort zones. I'm glad things are slowing down for you a little. I continue to struggle to find a balance between plotting and pantsing when I write.

Carolyn V said...

I am a total planner. I love the planners (I have four of them...but I only use one). But I have to agree that summer doesn't always work as well when my kids are home with the writing. Oh well.