A couple weekends ago–Labor Day weekend–I decided to check off at least one item on my to-do: reorganize my walk-in closet. Now, this walk-in closet not only served as a place for my clothes, but also as my writing/graphic design studio.
But the problem was this: it had become a junk room. I could barely walk around in it.
So, during the week leading up to the long weekend for this project, I daydreamed. I brainstormed. I envisioned. I planned. I even sketched. Friday after work, I started on my reorganizing project.
I hung all my clothes on just one side of the closet, next to the window. I moved all my graphic design books from a rickety plastic shelf behind the door and placed them all along the twelve-foot built in shelf on the other side of the closet. I purged all the junk I didn’t really need and ended up making two trips to the Goodwill. I threw away anything else that just was needed.
I took the cardboard boxes along the top shelves on both side of the closet and threw out what was junk. I kept the good stuff and replaced the cardboard boxes with those decorative cloth storage boxes.
And then what I was the most excited about most of all: all the open wall space behind my long row of graphic design books. I took framed posters sitting in stack and hung them on the wall. Some of these posters I’d had for years but never had any place to hang them. They were framed all that time, waiting to be admired. Finally, it happened.
So this reorganizing project went off without a hitch. It took minimal time and effort. Why? Because I planned. It was all in my head, but I saw what I wanted and I did it. Like I said, I daydreamed, I brainstormed, I envisioned, I planned, and I even sketched. That made everything go more smoothly by the time I started working on the closet.
And that is how I do my writing. I daydream. I brainstorm. I envision. I plan. I even sketched. The difference between a writer who is a pantser and one who is a planner is the degree to which these actions are done. Even a pantser, who writes by the seat of her pants, can benefit by spending a few minutes daydreaming about the story before she starts. Meanwhile, the planner may go into more detail–hopefully, not so much that she never gets to the writing.
My point is, when writing fiction, even a little planning goes a long way.
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