I’m a really organised person. Everything that I do needs to be planned and mapped out in the utmost detail.
Nothing is worth doing if it’s not planned. I regularly spend hours working out all the details – every step I need to take, in the exact order it needs to be taken. Contingencies for unexpected events. I make sure they’re all included in my plans.
I’m like that as a writer. That’s why, from the time I first get an idea for a story to the time I actually start to write it out, several years may pass. There’s no point starting on a story too early. I may not have the details properly set out. I may not have the correct sequence of events. I may not have even worked out what all those events are. And I may not know the characters well enough, or the places they reside or the things that they do. Oh no, big mistake to start a story too early. Definitely something I need to take the time to plan.
And it’s like that in pretty much any other aspect of my life I can think of. Going out to dinner – need to carefully plan where to go and what to eat. Going on a holiday – need to work out the best destination and where to stay and what to do. Even just going to work – need to think about what chores need attention and in what priority and what I will say to avoid pissing off my workmates. Planning is the only way I can get through my day – or my life.
I enjoy making plans. I enjoy the control it gives me. I love the process of analysing and breaking down all aspects of my life.
But do you know the best part about making plans? It’s then proceeding to fail to follow them.
Where’s the fun in following a plan? Where is the joy in living your life based on a bunch of step-by-step instructions? Things often don’t work out the way you expect them to. Even if you plan for contingencies upon contingencies upon contingencies, you’ll still end up with an extra layer of contingencies to deal with.
My writing is a bit like that. Even though I have a basic framework for story, I like to keep things loose to see what additional ideas come to me during the writing process. And the rest of my life is largely the same. I bumble through, never quite sure what I’ll do from moment to moment.
So there you have it. My secret to a successful life. Take the time to carefully plan every detail. And then throw those plans to the winds.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as