Pantsing and Plotting

I post every week.

I’ve done this for several years now (Which reminds me that it would be interesting to know – for me at least – how long I’ve been at this). So you’d think that, when the time comes to post here, it wouldn’t catch me by surprise. But it does.

Surprise might be too strong a word. It certainly isn’t like I wake up the day after Saturday and am like “Woah, where did this come from?” But on the other hand, in terms of these posts, I invariably wonder what it is I’m going to talk about.

This results in a type of stream-of-consciousness post (much like this one is) where I usually don’t know where it’s going until I sit down and get started. Sometimes I don’t even have a title for the post, just a vague thought that I’ll expand on as I go.

This does have certain benefits.

One of those benefits is the joy and the thrill of not knowing what’s going to end up on the screen (I was going to say “Page” here but it’s been a minute since I picked up my pen and wrote longhand…something I should address). I’m, as Indiana Jones would say, making it up as I go. Flying by the seat of my pants, as it were.

And this has worked for the aforementioned “Several” years now.

Still.

There’s a not-insignificant part of me, the part that enjoys making lists, planning out days and tasks, etc. that wonders (and has every week) why I don’t plan these things out beforehand.

This too would come with its own benefits. One being that it would likely take me less time to compose thee posts. The stream-of-consciousness method isn’t a constant stream. It’s more like a trickle, then a flood, back to a trickle, etc. If I came up with something to talk about beforehand, I know that my mind would simmer that idea on the mental back-burner over the course of the week, adding to it occasionally, until I had a more or less complete post. Then, come Sunday, I would simply transcribe it here and be done.

I may even have the post completed (Gasp) early and all I would need to do is schedule it to go up on Sunday morning.

Easy.

Both approaches have their merit. Ten minutes before I sat down, I had no idea what I was going to post about, and now look at it. Chasing an idea is one of the joys of writing.

Conversely, I’ve been at this long enough for my coffee to have grown cold. I could have spent more time during the week chasing the idea (as opposed to, say, scrolling through Twitter) and jotting down ideas. The same amount of idea chasing would have taken place, it just would have been spread out over time. Ideas would have had time to percolate (speaking of coffee, I’ve since had time to warm it up).

Again neither approach is superior to the other, and even that statement is couched in nothing more than my own experience. Your mileage may (and probably does) vary to some degree.

Maybe I’ll give plotting out next week’s post a shot – if I remember. I’ll be the first to tell you that my memory isn’t the steel trap it used to be.

Or maybe I won’t try to “Fix” what isn’t “Broken.”

But now that I’m thinking about it, though. I do love tinkering with a process to see if I can make it even more awesome.

And Chasing the Awesome is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

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