Writers often classify themselves as pantsers, plotters (outliners) or some combination of both.
- Pantsers are those who write by the seats of their pants. No plan, no outline, nothing is set in stone. The story emerges with a life all its own, often taking unexpected twists and turns along the way.
I was thinking about this the other day and realized this is how I live my life. In part this is something that happens to many work-at-home people, just by the nature of working without an imposed structure, without a clock-in, sign-in job.
I don’t follow a routine, and things often distract me and send me down various rabbit holes and side streets. I might intend to write X words or revise Y story on a day, but I get an email concerning something at my volunteer job that needs following up, or I look outside and get an idea about how to rejigger the garden… and of course dinner and shopping and laundry and kids and housework and taxes and filing …. you get the picture. Or, I need to do all those things and I start a story and my mind is lit on fire – eight hours later and I have a story but I haven’t done any of the other things I’m responsible for.
Overall, I get enough results this way – my home responsibilities get done, more or less; I have stories published and more written & subbed; I manage to finish my non-fiction freelance work; I do things with family and friends. But what if I lived my life with more intention, following through on my intentions? Could I reach the next level, get more done, write more effectively, use my time more efficiently?
I’m probably too old to change completely, but I’d like to start small and add one or two routines and see if I can up my game, just a little.
What are some routines you follow? Are you also a pantser or an organized plotter of your life?