PLAN OR SPONTANEOUS
I do both! I do sit down with the aim to write. Sometimes this doesn’t work because I have too many distractions at home. So sometimes I will choose a day when I am free and go out to somewhere quiet to write (usually a coffee shop). I take books and notepad (the books contain kick-start prompts).
When I was editing a story some years ago I took it with me to my brother’s and while he was at work I sat in the garden to work. It was the only way I could see me doing it.
But I love being spontaneous. An idea will hit and I will stop and write it down. I remember dusting and words coming to me for a poem so I had stop the dusting (a great hardship!) to write the words down and then I carried on writing until I finished it. I’ve written on backs of envelopes, my diary, toilet paper (don’t ask…and it’s not easy to do), anything I can get my hands on. Words or ideas come at night, on the bus/train, walking and when I was working and bored I’d stare out the window and write about what I saw out there or in my head.
I should carry a note book (recommended this to you my readers ages ago) but my bag is so tiny there’s no room so that’s where my diary comes in. If I’m on a journey or going on holiday I take paper and plenty of pens and I do have a notebook by the bed, though I can’t put the light on once hubby comes to bed so I either have to try and memorise my words until morning (which strangely I can often do) or I get up and write downstairs.
Planning is good for me because otherwise I might go for a week or more and not write. Once I’m out of the habit I have to drag myself back. Planning makes me write, though I grumble about doing it. Both spontaneous writing and planned writing work for me. Both produce good work, though planned writing does add structure and can produce some unexpected surprises.
Planned writing is better for story writing I think (maybe someone can confirm this?). Short stories and novels need longer blocks of time spent on them. A poem idea can be drafted in minutes, fleshing out a plot must need longer. That has been my experience the times I have written stories. I think that is why I rarely write stories because it is harder to find longer periods of time to write and when I do get caught up in a story I want to keep going and then there’s all that editing!