To Plan or Not To Plan

To Plan or Not To Plan .png

I love planning now although I feel like a child doing it will all my sticker packs. As a kid growing up, I hated it didn’t see the point in planning, but I also had fewer responsibilities in life. I miss those carefree days of making sure my chores were done and being ready for dinner. Sometimes my imaginary friends made me late for those types of events. 

When I got to college is when I started planning more because I was taking more than full loads and trying to remember what assignments were due was not something I committed to memory. After I forgot I couple times, I started carrying around an organizer. However, when I got a job while going to school full time and was also in other organizations my planning became trickier. The limits of my memory were stretched with everything I was trying to contain for classes, work, and extracurricular events. 

When my baby was added to the mix of going to grad school, working, and keeping up with laundry I knew I needed to get serious about a calendar. So, I decided to try out a few different planners to see what I enjoyed the most. 

When I decided to become a serious planner, I didn’t know what would work for me. I liked to plan out most of my life with a paper calendar, and yes I still use a written one.  I was once told by a pastor I was doing research with, “Why remember things you can write down?” Her planner was large enough to take someone out. With my child growing, I really got into planners and was obsessed for a while. I would try all the new planners coming out. 

These are a few I checked out:

Passion Planner

Happy Planner

Franklin Covey Planner

Moleskin

Erin Condren

Day Designer

When I became a mother, I realized that my sleep-deprived mind could barely remember the way to work or how to do laundry. Planning became mandatory to keep my sanity and my small family running smoothly. Games, plays, and school events quickly filled up the spaces left between chores and work. 

I have found a planner I love and use one with stickers because it is relaxing to me. It makes me want to look at my planner and add things to it. It has taken me years to find a planner I like and stick to it. I am totally up a creek without a paddle if they stop making it. I do use my phone calendar as a reference point, but there is just nothing like writing it down for me.

One thing I have never done was plan out anything that I was writing after I came back to the writing life. Most would say, “Well Esme, this is why you don’t finish anything.” I would reply with, “Nope usually fear that keeps me from finishing.”

However, I primarily wrote short stories and poetry the majority of my life, and they for me didn’t require a lot of planning just a lot of revision. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago I got a book idea. This book was massive and perhaps would have to be written in a series to do it justice. 

So, I started the piece much like anything else I had ever written I began with a character and gave them life. I like to write by just letting it fly out of my head on to paper, but it has left me with my character in a place I am not sure how to get them out of. After about a year of this on and off again I had a few good little stories, but it was still all over the place. 

It wasn’t until this year that I really started to plan out my novel for National Novel Writing Month. I had to scrap nearly everything I had written up to that point and do an outline of all the characters in my story as well as what they were going to do. I took a long to time to figure it out, and in fact, I have put my novel on hold until I can plan what is next in my story. 

I have been writing 4 stories at the moment they come together into one picture. Which honestly is how I feel like God writes my life out, but God also says I know the plans I have for you! So, I feel like planning my novel would be the best benefit in every way possible. In fact two months ago my mother told me the same thing. Yes, mom, you were right okay. (She is way too often and don’t tell her I said that.)

In other words, this woman who wasn’t a planner in the beginning soon ended up being one, and moral of the story is even when you get older your mother is right. 

~Esme