Writing A Plot By The Seat Of Your Pants: Plotters Versus Pantsers

Writing A Plot By The Seat Of Your Pants: Plotters Versus Pantsers

Do you write?

Have you ever wanted to write, but had absolutely no clue as to where to start or, even more daunting, how to possibly continue on?

Did you know that there's actually no right or wrong answer as to how to go about doing that? 

I started writing a novel when I was 14 and I've been writing ever since (never did quite finish that novel yet, though, as I hit a roadblock... I'll come back to it... eventually...). I've also dabbled in writing blog posts, technical white papers, product descriptions, etc. 

But, at the end of the day, they all have the same one thing in common:

You've gotta start writing somewhere.

So, how do you even know where to begin or what to do?

To do that, it's best to start with the basics. 

Before you know or figure out what you want to write about, it's helpful to ask yourself...

How do you write in the first place?

Everyone has a different approach, but generally people fall into one of these two categories:

  1. There are Plotters: These are the people who painstakingly plan out every minute detail of what they want to say and how. They fully dissect their ideas down to a carefully curated blueprint with which they navigate their stories, their writing in general, and oftentimes their own lives.
  2. There are Pantsers: Hi there, that would definitely be me. Pantsers write "by the seat of their pants," typically going into projects blindly and just pouring out words onto the page or word doc to see what comes out. Some people think by talking aloud, while others may think by writing, and still others may think ahead. When it comes to writing, my first drafts tend to be my final drafts. I hope for the best and see what I have to say, editing at the end as needed. This approach is frankly much more chaotic, but it's also all the more authentic, in my clearly professional personal opinion.
  3. And, there are also Plantsers: I thought there were only two categories?? Surprise!! There's actually a secret third one that's an amalgamation of the first two. It's exactly what you think it would be: sometimes you plan, whereas other times you don't. The most important thing is that you write, and it doesn't matter how you go about it.

Which one are you? 

So, there you have it.

You can have a bias by mainly choosing to stick to one, or you may find yourself gravitating to another one depending on your mood or the type of writing involved.

A fun thing to do is to experiment with the method you're less comfortable with to see how your originality comes to fruition there.

Writing may be considered more of an art, but there's a science to doing it in a way that yields your best work and makes the process of achieving it that much more interesting and enjoyable!

Now then, if you'd like to write, whether it be for fun as a hobby or more seriously for work, try giving yourself the task of spending fifteen minutes (at the very minimum do at least five) devoted to your writing practice daily. 

You can only write during that time.

No checking your phone or distracting yourself or procrastinating in any way.

The only other thing you can do is stare at a blank wall. 

The sheer boredom of doing so will surely help to start the ball of motivation rolling in the form of action, and before you know it you may find yourself craving another fifteen minutes if you really start to get into the groove of things.

Take your work less personally and more seriously. It's okay to not be good enough yet at your craft; it's not a reflection of your worth as a person, and you can, with time, do things to improve your work with more of a growth mindset.

Looking for more self care ideas? Check out the Self Care Bucket List for a wealth of ideas and activities to engage in after you've tried writing for at least five minutes.

You can do this! It takes time, but you got this!

Daria :)

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Tiffany daSilva

Tiffany DaSilva is the founder of flowjo.co and lover of all things self care, chihuahuas and cross stitch. You can read her posts about how she handles the day to day using mindfulness and self care here on Pitter Patter! Flowjo's lifestyle blog.

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