Tuesday, January 14, 2014 | By: HiDee

Looking For a Better Way

I will never be a Survivor contestant. I am not fond of bugs or snakes in any way, shape or form. I am not a water-lover. But I am fascinated by people, and I love watching the show just for the people interactions. 

What makes the contestants tick? How can one person lie without any qualms, while another beats him/herself up for a little fib? Why can one person cope with the mentality that it IS a game, while another knows it’s a game but can’t reconcile that with the way they have to play to advance? Who are these people in their real lives? What traits make them who they are?

Knowing I’m fascinated by people, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I’m also fascinated by how writers write. Why are some writers plotters and others pantsers? Why are some writers plungers, instead of planners? How are some writers so prolific while others are not?

I probably spend too much time in search of that elusive “better way” to write my books. I’m a panster, not a plotter; a plunger not a planner (at least in writing). If I find myself distracted by something that isn’t working in my manuscript, I’m quick to search my writing reference books or the internet for a solution.  

Google helps me find websites and blogs that have articles written by writers, for writers. There is a wealth of information out there, and I find it easy to waste a lot of time searching, hoping to discover that one nugget of information that will click with my creative brain and send me scurrying back to my manuscript.  

Writers are great mentors – many of them share their methods, their stories about what works for them and why. They write articles and make them available to other writers. They lead workshops where they interact one-on-one with those of us motivated and inspired to follow in their footsteps. They recognize that what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another; that writing methods are as diverse as writers themselves, and they encourage us to persevere and find our own way. 

I think Don Fry sums it up best in his Writer's Digest article To Plan Or To Plunge? A New Way of Looking At The Outlining Debate: You need to know who you are, and what works best for you. 

And so to borrow (and edit) a line from Eddie Rabbitt’s 1980 hit song "Drivin My Life Away":  

I’m writing my life away, looking for a better way, for me...

What writing advice have you been given or discovered that really clicked with you?  Please share.