Am I the only one who finds that my writing progression and techniques seem to loop back around to the beginning every so often? Or that there seem to be phases to techniques and productivity?
For instance, I used to outline. Obsessively. It was over-outlining that actually killed more than one project, because I would write myself into a corner. I tend to take deadlines and outlines and any other kind of line seriously. I was one of those kids who learned to color inside the lines very, very quickly, because the idea of going outside the lines and making a mess was nigh-on sacrilegious.
And then, one day, I just decided to go with it. To just write and let what happened happen. I think I can thank my first NaNo for that. While that project was the offspring of an older, outlined project, and thus had a lot of paper fostered in, it was all background information. The actual story was new and thus I just had to roll with the punches as they came.
Now, I'm at sort of a middle-ground. I'd still classify myself very much as a pantser, but occasionally, I find myself scribbling out a tentative plan for the future. Not even a real outline, or anything really in-depth, but a plan for the future nonetheless.
I don't imagine I'll ever regress back into over-outlining, but I do find sometimes that outlining even that little bit can kill an idea, or at least my enthusiasm for an idea. But I don't count that as a bad thing. The advantage that does exist in outlining is that it can show me the weaknesses in an idea outright, in the beginning stages, before I get too emotionally involved.
Of course, sometimes that is a bad thing. I tend to over-think things sometimes and instead of just rolling with the idea, despite the weakness, and figuring out something along the way, identifying the problem can sometimes just cause me to freak out and avoid it.
But it fluctuates sometimes, which is the entire point of this post. Sometimes I find myself writing notes - outlining, if you will - to avoid forgetting things for the future. Sometimes I find myself actually planning out storylines and character development in advance. Sometimes I don't touch paper outside of actual story. It goes through phases. But those phases happen in a pattern. It's weird.