So I decided to try a different approach concerning my writing techniques. Over time, I’ve changed as an individual and as a creative mind, and thus, my formulas must change too.
Used to be I could just set to writing straight off the back, no guides, no outlines, no preparation. I hated outlines. I hated charts. It all felt so stifling. Word vomit has always been my go to motivator for getting shit done. And this still works, for short pieces. Like short stories or flash fiction. Not so much for the long haul. My days of writing 30+ pages of handwritten prose, front and back of the paper are over.
But, fuck, I hate outlining. I hate lists and bullet points. I don’t want to map out an entire story! When I do that I feel beholden to that structure and then new twists and turns can’t be explored. Of course, I know that’s not how it works, but it’s how I feel. So, what to do?
I like to hand write my first drafts and then take to the keyboard to make sense of all those scribbles and hieroglyphics. But man, my hands cannot write as fast as my brain thinks, but my fingers can type that fast.
Tonight, I tried something new. I created, wait for it, an outline. But not an outline for the remainder of the whole story. Handwritten notes, bullet points, some specific dialogue ideas, and then I set to work on my computer. And guess what. It didn’t take me days or even weeks to finish getting back to my writing. I wrote nearly 1500 words in 2 hours.
This feels good, man. It’s been so long since I felt like I could see the end of a story I started. This isn’t just going to be one of those things I start and never finish. I’m doing it!
For my fellow writers out there who are struggling: don’t be afraid to go back to an old tool you once thought didn’t work for you. Maybe it didn’t work then. You change over time. Your writing changes over time. Your techniques and approaches must change as well. Never remain static.