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Pantsing my way downtown...




To refresh your memory, the term "pantser" is typically used to describe a writer who doesn't write their story in any discernibly logical or organized fashion. Often, a pantser can tell you how the story begins, and where they hope it ends, but that's about it. The details in between can be just as much of a surprise to the pantser as they end up being for the reader.


I'm realizing (finally) that my way of writing more closely resembles my way of living than I'd wanted to admit. I set goals but then leave how I get there (if I get there at all) up to chance. I've tried time and time again to pre-plan or rather, "plot" my way, and each time I end up having wasted time and money on systems that just don't suit the way I work.


Introducing the Next Chapter - my self-designed system for getting @#$% done.


Leaning into my "pantser" nature has me approaching goal setting and planning in a way that's similar to how I write my books.


It's time to "build-a-book". Typically, before I start putting words to page for my story. I take a plain notebook, break it into sections related to the story I'm working on then fill it with visions of the final book - pics I'd like to use for the cover, images of the characters, and descriptions of the scenery I have in mind at the time. Then, I fill the remaining pages with the actual story in whatever order it comes to me. For 2023, I'm adapting that process to my life by using a goal planner to first capture my desires and goals for the year - all the things I envision accomplishing by December 31, 2023. Then, each month, I'll brainstorm the specific tasks I'll use that month to move me toward the goals. This will be my "build-a-book" for this chapter or rather year in my life.



Makse Life 6-Month, Undated Goal Setting Planner


Now, because the particular goal planner I'm using doesn't come with a lot of room for writing, I'm adding a daily planner for task management and tracking. The act of planning each day will be the equivalent of setting my timer and getting a word sprint done. I'll set aside a few minutes each day to sketch out upcoming tasks, due dates, etc. Much like using the number of words written that day to determine how many I have left to reach my total word count goal, I'll use my daily log to determine how much closer to achieving my life goal(s) I got that day. I can then make adjustments to the next day's plan that will keep me moving forward (if not necessarily on track).



Plum Paper Daily, Dated, 6 Month Planner


What tools, tips, tricks, and such are you using to plan for 2023? Leave a comment, and let me know. Meanwhile, plan on meeting me back here next week when I share some of my actual plans for the new year.


As always, thank you so much for stopping by. Sending light & inspiration,

Dana