There were two blog posts I read today, and they both got me thinking. First off, since I’m seriously becoming a fan, sue me, is Albert Berg’s posting for today, “Eat Your Lima Beans: The Importance of Becoming the Writer You Aren’t“.
Now, I get that he isn’t talking strictly about the rule of outlining. I get that he was talking about all the hard parts of writing and how they are just as important as the easy ones. But I am going to delve into the outlining.
I do not outline. Let me repeat. I do not outline. I am so lucky, underscore that a few more times, that I did not have to do many papers during my years of school. My mother worked with me, and I do remember I did a few outlines, but I do not do outlines.
I’m a ‘panster’. A person that writes by the seat of her pants. I know, not pretty. Probably why I have yet to plot anything. However, I like the non conformity of just writing. I also have no set plan on how a story is going to go most of the time. I kind of let each situation take me there. Yes, I do have a general sense of the plot with some things. I like to see where each situation takes me, and if I have a hatful of situations that can’t all go into the book, well then, that’s okay. A few of them will and they will combine to create something wonderful. I hope.
Call me a free spirit. Okay, uh, don’t really call me that, but when it comes to writing, I go with the flow. I don’t stress too much over what the outcome is going to be. Yes, heroine does end up with hero, that is pretty much a given, but if instead of her getting pregnant like I had planned, she ends up confessing her love before that point and they get married, bla bla bla, then okay. Just so long as I actually end.
Pardon the rambling, it’s late and I have not thought all day about this post.
Now onto the second part of what I was mulling over. A post that Nathan Bransford posted on the 17th, ‘Page Critique Thursday: My Thoughts, and More About Trusting Yourself’.
Mostly the post had nothing to do with this statement I took out of it, but I thought the statement apropos. “One of the most important skills every writer must master is also one of the most elusive: trusting their own talent.”
Sometimes as writers, we get caught up in all the rules, and we read other writers thinking, well they made it, obviously we must follow their lead and do what they do. Not so. Sometimes trusting yourself and admitting that you actually know what you are doing is very hard. You are a writer. You have had people compliment you on what you do. Believe it.
So says me, who, well, has insecurity issues on a daily basis. Seriously I should be posting this everywhere around my house as a reminder that I do have something. Otherwise a publishing company wouldn’t have said they want to publish one of my books. (before you jump up and down, I ended up not being able to do it due to finances) Trust in yourself as a writer.
Now how does that coincide with Albert Berg’s post? Well, not always will one method work for you. Or me as the case may be. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have some general outline, but for me, I haven’t found it to work to really ‘outline’ something. I need the ability to float an idea out there but not stick to it whole heartedly. I need flexibility to create. So I am trusting myself.
Each writer is different, and I think it wise to look at a lot of options and at some point, try them, because you never know when it will help you out. Be open to ideas and concepts.
But, trust in yourself.
(now that being said, I kind of like the top picture on outlining… So I might give it a shot, even just as an exercise. See, even I can change my ways.)