As a writer, I know that I have a million things going on inside my head. At times, it feels like I can’t even get my thoughts straight to write down my idea, let alone sit at a computer long enough to get some typed out. So when we are ready to write a story or create, how do we go about getting ourselves organized enough to begin?
On a LinkedIn group discussion, there was a writer that posed the question to members asking (paraphrasing) “Do you plan out your writing or do you just start writing?” I honestly had to think about it for a moment. When we are in school writing an essay, we have outlines or we use free writing, we always have to show our “pre-work” before we were even able to begin writing (at least in my school, that was how it was). As we grow up and build our own writing style and technique must we abide by the same rules and guidelines, can we take a disorganized mess and turn it into something masterful? There are those who can do that, although I would guess there aren’t quite that many.
When I begin or want to start writing, it all depends on how much of the story or how an idea has hit me. I can begin by doing an outline, summary or free writing of the story. I have attempted to just sit down and start writing but I find my thoughts become jumbled and I can’t keep up. I have to at least get my thoughts out in outline form, very rough, so that I can remember where I want my story to go. I have often found that no matter how much outlining I do, as I write my story often changes from the outline.
I am a person who thrives on organization, at least in writing. I have to have my thoughts and ideas clearly before me, or I would lose myself. I often come up with other ideas along the way for other stories, so I often do similar things, I will write out an outline and a brief character profile of those characters I will need, then I can keep writing my other story and come back to it later. I find it most helpful to have outlines and notes simply for the fact that when we write it is a process and we can lose something we need or miss parts of a story that we originally wanted to add because we did not write it down when we had the idea. I would rather have too much of a story and pieces of it that I never use, than to have a brilliant idea and lose it because I did not take the time to organize my thoughts before or even while writing. We are all different in our styles and ways of writing, but for me, I can’t be unorganized. How do you write best? Give me your feedback below, I would love to hear your opinions.