Thus far in my illustrious blogging career, I’ve generally done my best to stay ahead of my own game by stockpiling posts well advance of actually posting them. That way, if I ever found myself in a stretch of days – or even weeks – where I couldn’t find time to write new material for Ever On Word, not to worry, I’d simply put up the piece I’d had scheduled for this particular day since a month ago.
It’s a good system, if one can manage it, and has served me well since September. But today I find myself feeling rather “unconstrained and unstudied in manner or behavior”, so I’m writing on impulse, with no clear idea of where this post is going to go, and with the intention to post it for your view immediately afterward (well, following a reread to check for typos, of course).
Now, for a lot of bloggers, the type-and-post method is nothing out of the ordinary. For whatever reasons of their own, that’s simply the way they prefer to do things. Me? I prefer to plan. I like knowing what’s to come with time to spare, so I can work around it, or prepare for it, or at the very least just know. This goes for life, and since it’s such a huge part of my life, it goes for my writing, too.
Off in the world of NaNoWriMo, they’ve got a word for people like me. They call us the Plotters – those who like to outline their novel’s plot and learn the bios of the characters and perhaps even work out a chapter-by-chapter idea of where the story will go before they put down a letter toward their word-count goal. That’s me, all right. Prep work and self-imposed guidelines are my friends, as I further explained (oh, wow, over a year ago!) in a piece entitled “Staying Within the Lines” (a part of my “The Making Of…” series of Facebook notes for my “Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” page).
Then there’s the other group: The Pantsers. These are the ones whose decision to write a NaNo novel might not have been made until November 3rd, but since they don’t require (or even do best without) a month of prep work, they can just go, trusting the story to build itself along the way.
There’s something to be said for both sides – for knowing how to plan, and for knowing how to improvise. And particularly for control freaks like me, it’s probably good, every now and again, to look for low-pressure opportunities to practice leaving our comfort zone and just go with the flow, just to remind ourselves that we can operate on the spur of the moment without the sky falling or time exploding or our heads getting bashed in by some abnormal forestland’s creature’s magical stone.
So that’s what this blog piece has been: Me pulling a Panster-like type-and-post, and not getting brained by a rock for it. Be encouraged, my friends.