Outlines and Plans and Excitement

I’m a planner, and I’m a worrier. It follows that I have trouble actually writing stuff from time to time. The real key to efficient writing, for me at least, is to take away the inhibitions that come from worrying and add to planning.

Yesterday I finished the outline to a novel I’ve been working on for couple of months, and it was a big production. I’ve written a bunch of this, but the planning was slowing me down. Hopefully this outline will make the writing easier, as it covers the whole book’s timeline from all the four perspectives.

I was highly pleased with the outline and with the fact that I wrote it mostly in one sitting. It’s a big relief to know that I can sit down and write for four or five hours at a time. But because I’m a worrier, I worry that this won’t help as much as it seemed yesterday.

That said, I am more excited about this book which has been on ‘life-support’ for over a month. Novel ‘life-support’ means I wasn’t making much forward progress and with that going on, excitement waned. But acclimating myself to the writing itself is key, which is why I made it a point to write the outline in Microsoft Word (the same tool I write in, which is key), rather than trying to cut it all down or break it up to put in an excel spreadsheet. This made it FEEL more like writing the book itself, and encouraged me to actually hammer it out. Now the outline’s done, but the book is going to take a lot more work to get done.

I’m still a bit hyperactive creatively, having been looking at several different projects this whole time. That’s why excitement in the particular book is the key–Without it I get distracted by anything I read, anything I write for whatever other reason. Of course, having been diagnosed with ADHD years ago, it only makes sense that this remains an issue.

It’s been a while since I sat down and hammer out words for more than an hour. The best part is that it was fun in and of itself. I was fairly shaking with excitement when I finally finished the outline. It was like rediscovering a favorite game. I forgot how much fun this is. Too bad I can’t do that today, as we are finally going back to Minnesota after two weeks in Pennsylvania.


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