Sunday, January 15, 2012

The best laid plans...

I am a planner. 

I love to organize, strategize, and document.  I believe that in part, is what has drawn me to the writing life.  Some of this is from upbringing, and some from years of training in my career.  (To my people, documentation is like breathing.)  But I do have to admit, even as a kid, I would compile loads of data onto floppy discs... just to document.  I would never use the data, but I just had to compile. 

"You never know when you will need it." I would explain to my mother, when asked why I needed so many discs.  She shrugged and never brought  it up again. 

As an adult, I have traded discs for file folders and usb flash drives.  Shoe boxes, for bankers boxes.  And the data I compile now comes mostly from my own imagination, rather than library stacks and Yahoo searches (though I still love my Yahoo!).
I have found, especially in the last year, that I don't really need the outside references as much at the composition stage (the stage in which I spend most of my meager free time these days)  There is so much story lurking and swirling around in my minds eye, the challenge for me isn't what to write, or how to write it, or how certain things are done in reality to translate to the page, but rather... when in the world am I going to write it? 

I have been doing the work.  It is getting easier.  It turns out, all those people who say write one word at a time... well hey... they were on to something. 

I don't have as much time to write as I used to, but more is getting done because I sit and just write every chance I get.  Even if you only add a paragraph at lunch everyday... that adds up fast.

My point is this:  to all those planners out there who think you have to organize, strategize, and document countless binders and folders and flash drives of data before you get to the good stuff that is your first draft.  Don't bother.  Instead, just write the story one word, sentence, paragraph at a time.  you will have plenty of data to compile and organize later... I promise. :) 

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