Friday, August 10, 2012

Outlining Should be a Four-Letter Word

(No picture. I don't have any of a woman whining.)

Sigh... I find myself in a writerly dilemma. I've had a resurgence in writing inspiration and motivation, but don't have enough time to get all my thoughts down on paper. I sneak away and write bits & spurts whenever I have the chance. I'm piecing them together and thinking of all the other things I want to write. My interest in freelancing has resumed again, too. Which brings me to my dilemma.

I love writing, and don't mind the sales aspect that goes hand-in-hand with freelancing, but I must admit, when an editor asks me to do something mundane -- like provide an outline -- I almost want to reply with a "never mind." That's what has happened now. I sent a query and the editor may be interested, but wants to see an outline first.

Have I mentioned how much I hate outlining?

I immediately turned to my writing group partners. They, unlike me, love outlining and revising and editing. Me? Not so much. I just want to write down my thoughts and move on. I'm sure that in part, it's laziness, but it's also that IhaveamillionotherthingsIwanttowriteanddon'twanttospendanymoretimeonthethingsI'vealreadywritten. I wanted to say that all in one breath. That's how writing feels to me; like a breath I've exhaled before starting the next one.

As ridiculous as this sounds, I almost did email the editor, respectfully declining. I would have been much happier just writing the article on spec. She could take it or leave it, whatever. Just don't put me through the agony of creating an outline!

My writing partners came to the rescue. They didn't write the outline for me (which I would have greatly appreciated. Maybe they'll get the hint next time.) But they did offer suggestions and let me know I was on the right track.

So, outline completed. I sent it off to the editor. We'll see what she says. It almost doesn't matter. I'm already off onto the next thing.


  1. Lol wow, now that's an aversion.

    I used to dislike outlining, but now I really enjoy it and value it as a guide in the process. I don't think of it as a limitation -- "I must write to this outline" -- but rather as a roadmap. And if it turns out a detour will make the story/piece better, well then that's fine. I still know generally where I'm going. :)

    1. I know. It's crazy. I shouldn't hate stringing words together in this specific way so much, but I do. I did it, but boy- was it a chore.