The Slight Case of Identity Crisis

It has been odder than I expected adjusted to a post-graduate school life.  For example, I don’t need to just relax this summer in between homework sessions.  I don’t have homework.  Ever.  Again.  It feels a little odd.

Financially, the hubby and I have some goals to achieve, so we are moving forward with our goals to achieve those plans.  They are leading in a different direction than I expected, but it’s okay at the same time.

I’m getting my fiction writing back out and playing around with a story.  Yet, the normal method of plotting and figuring out the ebb and flow of a plot isn’t working for me.  Instead, I’m finding myself writing bits and pieces of story with the goal of hitting a daily word count and no real idea of where I’m headed.

Granted, the daily word count isn’t very long, about 750 words.  I’ve missed more days than I care to admit.  (Okay, all but four of them.  Yikes, that’s less than 50% at this point of the month.)

I’m supposed to be plotter in both life and in writing.  Heck, I’m a plotter for running, goals at work, and pretty much every aspect of life.

Now?  I’m wondering if I’m secretly a pantser.

I’m the sort of person that frequently turns to books for an answer.  Today, I found answers when I wasn’t looking.  Over lunch I started reading Making the Story, a set of non-fiction essays by 21 writers on how they plot.

I was looking to get my plot unstuck and instead found a lovely book of essays on the differences between plotters and pantsers.  So far I’ve read five of the essays and found that each author has struggled with finding their own process.  It isn’t something that they like or that they want to do.  There are pantsers who wish that they were plotters.  Plotters who wish they could be pantsers.  There’s the hybrid folks who need to see just far enough ahead to get to the next landmark, but not all the way to the end.

As I read that essay, it felt solid and reassuring.  I found myself nodding and thinking, yep, that’s what it feel like to me.journey

And then it hit me.  That’s what wrong with my current WIP.  I don’t have landmarks. I keep starting with a conflict that I’m sure will make sense, once I figure out where I’m going.  But I have no idea of where I’m going.

One of the pantsers admitted that they revise and throw away and they don’t get attached to anything, they paint themselves in corners.  It’s okay, it’s just how it works for them.

It feels like an identity crisis.  I’m a plotter, not a pantser.  I’m a student not a graduate.

It’s a new way of doing things.  Just like the plans that the hubby and I have — it’s not exactly what I planned, nor did I expect it.  But it still gets me to where I ultimately want to be.

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