Pantser and plotter.
Yeah, we're going there today.
You don't do a lot of prep, you lean into trusting your process, you just do whatever feels best.
Why do you "have to" take a side?
Well, to fit in with a group, of course John. Duh.
There are benefits to both side that can ultimately serve your creativity.
Because a better question to ask is - what's more important to you - having a side or producing the best work you can?
Or maybe you're saying I have to figure out what I'm going to say, I can't just write.
This isn't a debate about correct and incorrect, it's about rigidity and flexibility.
You've never followed a recipe, made a grocery list, balanced a checking account, tried to assemble toys or furniture, or looked at the back of a package?
Who said it had to be rigid?
I mean other than people trying to make you take a side in a debate?
How many places do you have to sit down in your home?
There's value in not-planning some stuff, but that means you gotta trust yourself. Which is scary, I know.
To write an outline, to organize in SOME capacity.
To let go of the expectation that it can only be a certain way in order to be good enough or "right"
They don't have to be all Roman numerals and capital letters.
Nothing wrong with bullet points, or scribbled notes on a legal pad, or a big spreadsheet like you can get at patreon.com/johnhelpsyoucr…
It's a document FOR YOU to HELP YOU. No one gives a shit what it looks like.
Nor is it a sign that you're a loser or a failure or whatever because you use one
It can also be a thread topic for next week.
Your creativity is in no way stifled by making decisions in advance of when you have to make decisions.
You're gonna make them anyway, so why does time matter?
Dude, no. If you sit in front of that blank page during writing-go-time and you think of a better thing on the spot, USE IT.
Again, who's gonna know or care that it was or wasn't in the outline
Anything that helps organize and corral the heaps of decisions you'll have to make is not going to stifle you, it'll liberate you.
Like jazz. There's sheet music, and in parts of it it'll just say "16 bar solo" and then you make something up.
I just want you to be productive about it.
If it doesn't, stop doing it.
But take a good look at "works" - are you actually getting words on pages or is this some hot air you blow to rationalize and comfort and play non-threatening not-risky pretend at writing?
I used to be one of them.
The shit I dumped in my body, from sugar to pills to booze to dope were all supposed to be the things that made the stuff I did "special."
Nah, that's just the lie I told myself.
Craft is a set of trainable skills and their applications in a demonstrably productive way with positive benefits to yourself and others.
The free rangeness of it is not what makes it special.
It's that you sat down and did the thing rather than just let it hang out in your brain.
Do not fear not using one.
Do not use it as a gatekeeper to sort the good from the not-good writers.
Every writer, every book, they're all different and require different tools and methods.
And you'll figure what that "best" is BY DOING THE WORK AND NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT HOW ONE DAY YOU'LL DO IT WHEN STARS ALIGN AND THE RIGHT STUFF COMES ALONG.
Go do the work.
You're good enough to take the first steps.
I'll be over here, believing in your ability to make progress and do the stuff, even the scary stuff.
Seize your minutes and be brave enough to give enough of a shit about your work that it becomes bigger than the fear of fucking it all up.