Thursday, May 26, 2011


So, here is where I open up with you and share my innermost secrets. Well, not all my secrets. Gotta keep some things sacred.

Here we go:

I'm battling a terrible bout of insecurity with regard to my writing right now. Yup. Those people who think writing gets easier after you've had a few books published are wrong. Either that or they're cyborgs with infinite amounts of creativity who can type day and night without requiring things like sleep or food.

I am not a cyborg.

The latest insecurity crushing my spirit is that I've run out of gas, I've used up all my creativity on the books I've already written and have nothing left in me.

This, of course, is a ridiculous load of crap. But still, it's what's been plaguing me at night while I lay in bed. It's what's kept me from moving past chapter one in my latest suspense novel (I keep deleting everything and starting over.)

Truth be told, I think my writing has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year, so the stuff I'm deleting isn't garbage, it just isn't right. Am I making sense?

I've been quite vocal about my being a panster. I don't plot, and instead let the story unfold organically as I write. I like this. It's worked for me for the past four books. Yet, for some reason, I can't seem to dive into my new project without knowing everything that's going to happen. Well...almost everything, anyway. I'm not sure if this is caused by my crippling fear of not being able to "get it right", or just a natural change in my writing journey.

Are there any other reformed pansters out there? Anyone who normally writes by the seat of their pants who now feels the need to plan ahead, to know where they are going?

I have to share with you. I'm feeling a little conflicted about this plotter/panster stuff. It's like I'm crossing over to the dark side or something. Ssshhh...don't go over there with those plotters. You may never come back!!

Do your writing habits stay the same, or do they change with each book you write?


the cautionary tale said...

I think we all go through this. Somehow though it passes. It might be something that you see or read about or something you can't quite pin down. Either way, the ideas come back.
I'm a HUGE pantser and never plan on reforming. If I did, I'd be lost.

Lisa said...

See, that's the thing. I don't want to reform, lol! I'm happy being a panster. Ahhh!

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm a panster, but I admit I created a brief outline for the book I'm on, but I'm happy to report I've completely deviated from it.

Lisa said...

I tried creating an outline for book 2 in my series and didn't use one thing from it.

Sigh...I'm having a plotting session this morning with my crit partner. Hopefully she can smack some sense into me, lol!!

Jennifer Lane said...

Plotting is the only way for me to write books that don't top 200K words. I have a problem! My experience is that even if I plot the outline, there's still some pantsing involved when the characters tell you where they want to go. I don't think it has to be an either/or black/white thing. Maybe you're evolving from a pantser to a pantter. A plotser? :D Maybe if you take a little break you'll get your mojo back!

Lisa said...

That could be it, Jenn. I might be evolving, which isn't a bad thing.

Every time I take a break I experience heaping amounts of guilt. I feel like I should be writing all the time. It's silly, and I know better. I'm doing a number on myself, lol!

NKR said...

I am, mostly, a panster but my writing partner is a plotter (I'm sure I drive her nuts). I can't stay between the lines (so to speak) for too long before I start to ramble as I write. It's what has worked for me the best.

Right now, I have an outline I'm trying to follow and I'm finding it really hard. I get easily distracted and then I sit and stare at my document - knowing where I'm suppose to go but I can't get myself there.

You'll make it happen! The best thing I've found is not to push it when it's not flowing the way I think it should be.

Lisa said...

@NKR- You're totally right. Pushing never works. Am hoping my get together with my crit partner helps. Usually does :)

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