Today's the magnificent letter O in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge - and my topic:
Definitely one of the age old debacles for a writer - to outline or to not outline.
Myself? I've always been a total pantser-style writer - letting my fingers fly across the keyboard with zero pause for censorship. At least that's what I thought...
But lately, I may have changed my tune. Which I actually find humor in, considering how much of a planner and list-maker I am in my day job. For five days a week, twelve hours a day, I'm owned by my to-do lists...and I actually relish in the satisfaction of filling in each tiny box next to all of my projects for the day, once they're done. Not to mention, I'm a huge Excel lover - and am fascinated with spreadsheets and the formulas that make the spreadsheets what they are.
So why did I find it so hard to translate all of the above, into my writing?
Well, it's simple: Fear of losing my creativity.
While my job as a Creative Development Manager may sound creative (after all, it's actually in my title!), thanks to process, politics, and the need to get more done faster in less time, I've practically lost all the creative aspects that drew me to it, five years ago. Which is probably why in turn, my writing has picked up immensely, over the last five years.
I've always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer - believing that having to sit down and outline a story, took all the creativity out of writing it. And I wasn't about to put a damper on any of my creativity, with a silly ole' outline.
But after realizing the potential for my book to actually become a series, I had to start thinking about all the legs it could have and how far I could take it. What would happen in book two, or even more so, in book three? And how would the ending I originally planned, morph into something even more involved, to encompass all that would happen across all three books?
Which led me to begin the outline for my story.
And wouldn't you know? The love I have for outlining my day, has translated into outlining my stories! Sketching out ideas on my giant white board, with multi-colored pens, is down-right gratifying - not to mention, fuels my desire to create. And now? Yeah, I think it's safe to say, that while I do love to write by the seat of my pants - it's almost just as much fun sitting down to outline the next steps.
Does that mean I'll outline always? I'm not 100% positive on that. I'm also not sure I'll outline before I actually start to write something new - sometimes it's half the fun to just sit down and go...but at least now I know how great it can be to add an outline to a work in progress, and the benefits of what it can do!
Outlines: Are you a believer?
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