It’s a pretty quiet day today at work. A lot of people are already off for the holiday, and I’ll be doing that on Friday. I’m reading a book called The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results: Keller, Gary, Papasan, Jay: 9781885167774: Amazon.com: Books, where it stresses the importance of taking time off. So much so that it says to plan all your vacations, and then the work around them. In past years, I let the work dominate until I suddenly needed leave, and now, or having it bunch up at the end of the year when I had use or lose.
I’ve always thought that even the writing doesn’t come first on the priority list for me. Health does. If you don’t have good health, you’re not going to be able to spend a lot of time writing.
I spend some time after work prepping tweets for the new December promotion. (Sneak peek here, starts November 27). I want to set up the promotion for all of December, so once and done and I can ignore it. I do 15 tweets for the promotion, load those. Still thinking about what I need for the other three slots each day.
Some work on the climax. Still cycling to straighten out something that my creative side put in but I need to back off of a little. You know, leave it for a later book.
This was inspired by the book I mentioned above, since it brings up what’s in my subject line.
Writing is pretty solitary. I’m sitting at a desk in my walk-in closet, on a computer. I can close the door and shut out the world. The serious writers need that because otherwise they’ll get pulled out and never finish the book.
So we seek out other writers because they understand. Online is super easy. As a pantser and trying to figure out how to work with my process effectively, I used to visit writing message boards regularly. Writers get together, ask questions, pass advice. Seemed ideal to find solutions to problems.
Uh, no. As I found out, their attitudes and bad advice were contagious. The majority of the writers hadn’t completed a single book and were dispensing advice like they were experts. The worst advice? Anything for pantsers.
If they didn’t sneer at the thought of pantsing, they informed any pantsers they weren’t doing it correctly. Or they told the pantsers, they’d see needed to be done eventually.
I’ve been told everything from my first draft was my outline to I was outlining in my head. Or that my first draft—sight unseen—was a total mess or that only best sellers can “get away with” pantsing. And I saw over and over, writers saying “pantsing doesn’t work.” It became a self-fulling prophecy. I heard it so much that it crept into my writing process (causing the very problems I was having).
No one there will ever, ever tell you, “Try writing it without an outline.”
Think about that.