I have big writing plans for this year. Big, glorious plans. I always start the year with big plans and when December inevitably rolls around I look back on my year of plans and laugh and laugh and laugh before I roll in a sobbing ball for a few hours. I think most writers plan big, then life pops up like one of those horrid inflatable punch me clowns that you keeps bouncing back up in your way.
I’m trying to be productive here, you scream to the void. The void doesn’t care, but hey, it doesn’t judge you either.
My 2017 plans derailed over the summer months. This is pretty typical, summer is never easy and in a household with kids, and special needs kids, priorities shift.
This year I am rolling out the big plans once again, but with not so subtle differences. Things are slowly, softly happening behind the scenes. Things I can’t talk about yet but have me so excited to share I am fidgeting here in my seat just thinking about them.
This year also kicks off with an internal shift of how I write.
I’ve long been a panster and story juggler. It’s been a style I’ve clung to for reasons that no longer fit my writing life and haven’t for sometime. In the last few months of 2017 I made a massive shift in my inner writing life toward somewhat obsessive plotting. This was something I normally shied away from thinking it was too restrictive of my creativity *snort*. After I forced myself to write the complete synopsis of a story in progress, I had a sort of epiphany.
YOU CAN CHANGE A SYNOPSIS AFTER IT’S WRITTEN.
Holy shit, yo, did you know bagels come pre-sliced?
I like to think the idea of pinning the ideas on paper intimidated me but if I am honest with myself, it was a combination of laziness (synopsis are hard as the devil to write, fight me) and sometimes, not having my ideas fully thought out so the synopsis/ outline felt forced. Since I’ve had this internal epiphany, it’s had several positive impacts on my writing.
-I write much faster with a road map. The outline has helped me overcome blocks and pitfalls, since I know where the story is going.
-I have renewed passion for sequels in progress. Plotting to the end of story, whether it’s 1 book or 5 books, having it all laid out in front of me in such detail has given me a renewed vigor for finishing projects instead of spinning trying to figure out where a project is going.
-I feel more comfortable with characters dying. This is a strange side benefit, but if I know and acknowledge a character death is coming, I feel a sort of release and try not to put it off so much.
-I feel more organized as a writer. With all these plots and plans, this is is the first year I’ve used an actual planner to keep track of deadlines and projects. This, this is a big step for me. I’ve always written these things down but in a jumbled mess rather than this leather bound beauty with pen holder and oh my god I finally feel like an adult.
With all that in mind, I have decided 2018 will be my Year of Plotting. I have many projects I want to tackle and write and many stories I want to tell. I have to accept that life might derail me in a few ways. I shall worry about that when it happens. In the meantime, I think I can help myself achieve my big plans for the year by creating my own maps to guide me.
Here’s to a gloriously productive year! Have you had a recent writing epiphany? Share with me!