#100daysofwriting, Day Twenty-five, 2021-06-25

Yes, I know, that was yesterday. Time is fleeting.

The question I asked for day 25, a quarter of the way in our journey, was:

What have you learned recently,  about yourself, about your writing, about your story?

It’s a great question, if I do say so myself. And evidently, it took me a few days to come up with an answer. Here’s what I learned over the last few weeks:

I have to accept my process and I can help other people with that too. I will never be a planner, an outliner, and that’s alright. I’ve been fighting this conflict for years now, thinking that I should outline to be more efficient, and hating that process from my very core. At the beginning of the year, I swore to never ever outline again and then I still tried to learn how the Save The Cat Writes A Novel approach works.

And I hated it. It shouldn’t have surprised me at all. Every time I try to outline, to plan, to lay out a plot structure, it leaves me drained and the story never gets off the ground. I don’t hear the characters anymore, I don’t feel like the story is fresh and the project just dies.

And even though I knew that many writers have the same problems, it took me listening to Joanna Penn’s podcast interview with Patricia McLinn about discovery writing (https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2021/05/24/discovery-writing/) to finally accept that. Listening to these two women chat about their writing, about the joy of discovery and how much they both hate plotting, it was such a relief to hear.

Patricia McLinn has written a short book with writing advice, Survival Kit for Writers Who Don’t Write Right, which I devoured in one day. It’s basically the book I want to write one day, a collection of tools and tips for the chaotic and scatterbrained writers, who probably have some bit of ADHD. It’s a wonderful little toolset and I felt so seen!

So I guess what I learned is: I’m alright. The way I think and write is fine. I’m a chaotic writer, just as I’m not an organized person in anything else. Of course I won’t suddenly turn into the spreadsheet hero when I write, when my whole life is just a wild flow of things that I happily bop along.

Yes, I’m happy with this. It’s chaos, it’s unpredictable, it may take longer, it’s hard sometimes, but it’s fun!