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Outlining and Inspiration

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I’ve spoken about my writing process before and I am a planner. I need to outline my stories and novels or else they just keep drifting along, trying to find an ending, but instead always finding different ideas and conflicts to keep the story moving but pointlessly so. One concern I recently heard regarding outlining was that once the story was on the page, the motivation to write it would be lost.

To which I replied: then it wasn’t something you should be writing.

Listen, maybe you aren’t interested in finishing stuff and marketing it and hopefully selling it. If writing is a compulsion forcing you to put words on to paper, then you don’t need outlining. Ignore me. I’m not the droid you were looking for.

If you do intend to get work done, there’s going to be a method that works for you. Outlining might be part of that method. And here’s the thing: if you are doing this right, you aren’t waiting for motivation or inspiration, you are creating it.

I’ve mentioned before about setting a specific writing time and always working at that time. That works best for me. Motivation and inspiration? For me that led to a lot of staring at blank pages or re-working a piece because I didn’t know how to move forward. Forcing myself to write led to my brain understanding that this was working time when it would be creative and fingers would type.

So, no, outlining does not cause a problem. Not sitting down and writing causes a problem. Making excuses for not writing causes a problem.

But you mileage may vary. Just give outlining a try if you haven’t. It might work for you.