Two Questions –
What is a Pantser: A pantser is a writer who flies by the seat of their pants. They do not plan a thing or they plan very little.
What is a Planner: A planner takes the slow approach. Drawing out everything from characters to scene until they get it right.
A few years back I had two completed novels.
My ego took off like a rocket. I saw my name in lights and I even had the actor picked out. The late great River Phoenix would have been perfect, I remember thinking.
I still hold true to that thought by the way.
But there was one tiny problem – both of my novels were complete disasters. Just ask my writer’s group, my beta readers, my so-called friends…..and me.
In an instant my name in lights crashed and burned. Along with my sorry ego and the manuscripts.
Back then I was a Pantser. I sat down with a notebook, my favorite pen and went to work. It was the ultimate rush.
It felt like a road trip at night. No headlights, no map and no destination. It was dangerous and fun. A curved road next to an icy cliff.
And then I missed the curve.
So much for my Panster career.
Not all Pantser’s write bad novels. Stephen King is probably the greatest Pantser of all unfortunately I am not him which explains the mess I created.
But on the bright side I wrote every day. Every morning to be exact. Three hours, non-stop. It created a positive habit and I learned how to overcome mistakes.
So that leads me to a question – What do I mean when I say you should write every day?
For me, as you have already guessed, it doesn’t mean writing a novel. At least in the Pantser sort of say. But it does mean concentrating and working on your craft.
Last summer while attending the Writer’s Conference in Portland, Oregon I bought a book on writing a novel.
In the past I never saw the need for such things but after my two failed attempts I was desperate. Not to mention I liked the characters I had created and I felt bad for what I did to them.
I began to take notes. Soon I was taking my failed books apart like a giant puzzle. Some of the pieces were rearranged while others were tossed in the fire.
Was I writing? – Kind of and kind of not.
I wasn’t writing a novel but I was creating an outline and learning what the story was really about. I was preparing, determined to do it right and taking my time while at it.
I didn’t have the talent to be a Panster but I did have the talent the break the story apart and study the pieces I had created.
In the meantime to cure my writer’s itch I created my blog, I wrote short stories, I joined twitter and I found some excellent on-line writer groups.
There are many ways we can write every day. It doesn’t always have to be a novel, just as long as we write.
Think of the novel as the big prize. While everything else is practice and a wonderful practice it is.
So I guess that’s why I’m not too bummed with my two failed attempts. I was writing. I was learning and in the end I figured it out.
We are all blessed with an amazing gift. It would be a shame if we kept it to ourselves. So write every day.
It doesn’t matter if its social media or a text to a friend across town or in my case breaking down my two busted novels .
Whatever you do find a way for people to hear your writer’s voice. That certain charm, that spark that you were blessed with is unlike anything anyone has ever heard.
People need to hear it and they need to hear you.
And that is why you should write every day.
Thanks for stopping by.