Archive | 1:57 pm

No Plan, No Clue, No Worries

5 Jun

I rarely have a plan in life.

I’m being dead serious.

I have friends who have planned a great percentage of their lives. They knew in college what they wanted to do. They planned on two children.  They planned on retiring early and even planned on the amount of savings they would have when they retired.

Me?  No clue!  No plan at all.  I’m like the steel ball in a pinball machine, just rolling around waiting to be hit by the next flipper.  And the funny thing is, it works for me. I’m six months shy of seventy and I have no complaints at all about how it all worked out.

Now part of that equation is trusting in my abilities.  I know I will be fine no matter what comes round the bend, and I have to credit my parents for giving me that confidence.  A part of it is borderline fatalistic.  I know that shit happens when you least expect it.  All the planning in the world won’t stop a tornado from leveling your home, or a heart attack from stealing away a loved one.  What’s the old joke?  Do you want to make God laugh?  Tell Him your plans!  That’s pretty much my outlook on life.  I handle today, today.  I’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.  It works for me and that’s all that matters.

Now I mention all that because my writing technique mirrors my outlook on life.  I don’t plan stories. I don’t plan novels.  Most of my work, and there has been quite a bit of it, starts with a writing exercise . . . I was walking down a city street late at night . . . what did I see . . . and the story takes shape as I continue with that prompt. I do not outline. I rarely, if ever, know how a novel will end when I begin it.

I trust in my abilities and I trust in my muse.

Would my technique work for others?  Maybe, maybe not, but it works for me, and that’s all that’s important for this writer.

I will leave you with that thought. There is no “one size fits all” approach to life, or writing. In the final analysis, you have to do what feels right for you. I have known great writers who break grammar rules on a regular basis. I have known people who follow the beat of a drum most of us will never hear.  It works for them, an d that’s all that matters.

Have a brilliantly original day!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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