4.18.2014

A to Z Challenge: Planners vs. Pantsers

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger.

A fun debate that comes up from time to time in the writing/blogging/NaNo world is whether it is better to be a Planner or a Pantser

A Planner is a writer who lays everything out, knows just where the story and characters are going, has done all the research in advance before they even start to write. For those of you Meyers-Briggs fans, Planners are J's. A Pantser is someone who 'flies by the seat of their pants' while writing. They maybe have a first line, or a basic plot they're thinking of, but in the end they're just going wherever the story takes them. Pantsers are P's on the MBTI. There was a great blog article over at NaNoWriMo a couple years ago that had 280 comments of people debating and sharing their preference. Good stuff.

So after yesterday's post on being organized, you're all probably thinking I'm a total Planner. Nope! While I am organized in every other part of my life and am a total J on the MBTI, I actually write better when I go wherever the story takes me. When I plan too hard the writing starts to feel like homework. And remember back in school when you'd do anything to not do homework? Yeah, me too. For me the writing is better when it's a process of discovery, and I just don't get the same rush when I'm outlining and planning ahead. This was a very good thing to discover, and why it falls into my theme of "things I know" - I've killed a couple good stories by overplanning them. Lost my steam, the thrill of discovery. I know that I write better when letting the story write itself.

I'm about halfway through Steven King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (which I highly recommend, btw), and it turns out he feels similarly. He starts with an idea for a situation and then just sticks a couple people into it and sees what happens.

How about y'all? Are you Pantsers, or Planners?

4.17.2014

A to Z Challenge: Organization

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger.

Sometimes, being organized just isn't enough.

Sometimes the chaos wins and there's nothing you can do but go with it. I am a pretty organized person. Not "the clothes in the closet hang in rainbow order" organized, but "the clothes in the closet at least have to hang grouped by sleeve length" organized. Not "the cereal boxes are alphabetized" organized, but "the pantry has sections based on food groups" organized.

I've always made the best attempts at staying on top of my schedule (and that of my siblings, at times! My brother gave me a gift for Secretary's Day once...) and on top of the tasks I need to complete. And usually, it goes swimmingly - everything happens on time, I get the work done in a 40 hour week, I am able to write books in my spare time. But once in a while *ahem* this month *ahem* things just go nutty and there's not a damn thing to do about it. Well there is - throw out the organizational plans and roll with the punches. Get everything done that you can, try not to stress about it, get organized again later when you can actually breathe.

Organization - love it when ya got it, try not to stress when ya lose it.

Any other organized folks out there? Anybody got any hints for when things go nutty? :)

4.16.2014

A to Z Challenge: Neutron Pea

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger.

neu·tron pea
/ˈn(y)o͞oträn pē/
noun
1. That one pea in the TV dinner that is still frozen even after the rest of the dinner has been microwaved beyond all recognition.
"Aw man, I just broke a tooth on the dang neutron pea in my soup!"

Another made up word for you, to help with the mid-alphabet slump!

How's it going? Anybody found someone cool through A-Z?

4.15.2014

A to Z Challenge: Marshmallows

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger.


Marshmallows taste best au flambe :)
(or at least... very recently flambe!)

Image from kitteh-pawz on Deviantart:
http://goo.gl/qGgax2

How do you like your marshmallows?

4.14.2014

A-Z Challenge: Listen

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger.


Listening can be the greatest gift we give someone.

This was a hard one for me to learn as a kid! I was a talker. A classic extrovert, who wanted everyone's attention to be on me ALL the time. I still struggle with it at times, especially if I'm in an intense mood and need someone to listen to me. 

But I've found that so often, sitting and listening to someone's stories or their thoughts can be more rewarding than doing the talking myself. I know what the litany in my own head sounds like. On a personal level, hearing someone else's thoughts can not only be reassuring ("oh good! I'm not the only one losing her mind right now!"), but also a great source of stories to draw from for writing. But then in the larger scheme of things listening can be doing something good for someone else - giving them the knowledge that someone has truly paid attention to them for a while. Haven't we all thought, 'I wish someone would just listen to me!' How great to give that gift to someone else!

Here is a great quote about listening that I pulled from a quote list on Goodreads:

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.” 
― Ed Cunningham

Love it :)

Who have you listened to today? Is there anyone you'd like to reach out to as an interested listener?

4.12.2014

A to Z Challenge & Six Word Saturday: Kale!

This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year my theme is simply, "things I know." Some posts will be informational, some about life lessons, some about things I've learned as an author/blogger. This post is also part of the Six Word Saturday blog hop! A chance to be a little less verbose, and use your weekend for other things. Lovely :)


Kale - a versatile vegetable super food.

I know there are people who think there's a cult of kale, but really.. It's so versatile and yummy! If there's a cult I'm happy to be in it. I love to replace other greens with it in soup recipes, and to make kale chips.

Any other kale fans out there?